The world is becoming more digital with each passing day. These technologies are making our lives feasible, from playing video games on mobile phones to calling a person sitting in the other corner of the world. However, one of the most important sectors, the health sector, needs digital transformation to improve health outcomes and provide more access to care. In this regard, telehealth or telemedicine is considered a key factor in providing low-cost and quality services to the masses.
Several developing countries, including Pakistan, are facing many challenges in the health sector, including a lack of medical professionals, poor health infrastructure, high cost of medical services, and lack of health facilities in rural areas, along with insufficient funds allocation for the health sector. However, these challenges make the health situation of the country even worse. To tackle the problem, Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven telehealth technologies must be implemented in the country’s health system. This could be effectively done by providing health services through virtual hospitals, clinics, diagnostics, and promoting preventive treatment methods to reduce the vulnerability to any disease in the country.
Telehealth technology can positively impact the country’s health sector by providing healthcare services to every corner of the country. The technology gives patients access to better health facilities by improving convenience and continuity. According to an American study, a patient spends 2 hours on a doctor visit, including 37 minutes of travel, 64 minutes at the facility, and 20 minutes with the doctor. According to these figures, a virtual appointment can save over 100 minutes. Apart from this, these technologies reduce healthcare costs by decreasing trips to the emergency department and making hospital services available at home.
Telehealth refers to providing healthcare services over the internet by using smartphones. Telehealth technologies include live video conferencing, mobile health apps, save and forward electronic transmission, and Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM). Telehealth technology is rapidly expanding and changing how millions of people receive healthcare. It is the application of telecommunications and digital technologies to provide and facilitate health-related services like medical care, health information services, and patient education.
Telehealth or telemedicine aims to improve the quality and cost of healthcare services in various ways, including accessibility, effectiveness, affordability, safety, and equity. Through telehealth technology, there will be no need for in-person appointments as patients can get their checkups done while sitting at home through virtual visits. This technology boosts access to health care to deliver convenience and, ultimately, cost reduction and develops telehealth beyond acute diseases to have episodic and chronic conditions.