Telemedicine: Current Impact on the Future

Cureus. 2020 Aug 20;12(8):e9891. doi: 10.7759/cureus.9891.


The current healthcare landscape lends itself to major changes, including elevating the prominence of telemedicine. Recent technological advances and external pressures have driven telemedicine to the forefront of medical reality. During an emergency declaration made March 17, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) stated the need for providers to use telemedicine to provide patients care in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other settings across the states. Additionally, new policies have been implemented to better facilitate patient care, safety, and privacy. The convenience provided by this low resource modality facilitates the intercommunication between physicians and offers a suitable alternative for patients who are medically or socially unable to see providers in person. However, given the nature of the practice, much consideration is needed to build patient relationships and comfort. In the future, the impact of telemedicine on healthcare environments cannot be overstated, especially in hospice and nursing home settings where it stands to improve treatment efficacy and monitoring for the elderly. Newer inventions such as the remote patient monitoring system can act as safety nets for clinic patients, while improving accessibility of electronic health records (EHRs) will dramatically augment available treatment options. However, the spread of telehealth relies on community reimbursement and the ability for physicians to consistently offer the same services that are available in person. Additionally, it is imperative that physicians and other healthcare professionals integrate these new technologies into their fields while also maintaining the ethics of patient security and autonomy.

PMID:32968557 | PMC:PMC7502422 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.9891