Telemedicine is caring for patients remotely, i.e patient and doctor are not at the same location physically. That also includes sharing patient information or any medical data via computers. Remote patient monitoring falls under the same category. While on-demand apps are relatively new, telemedicine is decades old.
Yes, you read it right. The concept of what we call ‘telemedicine’ has been there for a long time.
In fact, the early fantasies date back to the first half of the 20th century, when the radio was invented. They revolutionized the communication industry.
A Radio News Magazine from 1924 features the picture of a doctor attending to a patient via video call. The headline said, “The Radio Doctor–Maybe!”. The dreams came true after almost nine decades. What started as some hospitals looking for ways to reach remote patients led to today’s latest on-demand apps.
The world’s first example of electronic medical record transfer comes from 1940 Pennsylvania. The distance was 24 miles. Radiology images were sent between two townships via the telephone line.
Upon this technology, a Canadian doctor built a teleradiology system. As time went on, motion pictures became the new normal. With the advent of modern film technology, serious plans for video medicine were also conceived. In 1959, the University of Nebraska established a two-way television setup. It could transmit the information to medical students across the campuses.
Finally, by the 1970s, Telemedicine had become pretty popular, specifically in rural areas. The population there did not have enough medical facilities but telemedicine allowed them to reach specialists that were far away.
In the early days, telemedicine served to connect doctors working with a patient in one location to specialists somewhere else. That was great for rural areas where specialists were not available.
Telemedicine is the alternative to in-person visits, providing unarguable benefits to both patients and doctors.
So you see, the world of telehealth is big. Expectations are that the market size will grow up to USD 559.52 Billion by 2027 with a CAGR of 25.2%.
Today we have advanced health tech devices, such as wearable medical equipment. We have fitness wristbands and heart rate monitors that can track patients’ vital data in real-time. With the advent of mobile and the internet, software engineers collaborate with medical specialists to build healthcare apps for desktop, mobile, and other platforms.
Sleep fitness is an app developed by sleep expert, Dr Allison Siebern. It is more like a 6-week, self-guided insomnia program based on Cognitive Behavioral Treatment for Insomnia (CBTi). Users can log in and enter their sleep information to calculate variables.
With the help of computers and mobile, patients can connect with care providers anytime they want. Any clear fact why Healthcare would need on-demand services?