The digital revolution is upon us, and we’re seeing the interconnectedness of the Internet everywhere. The healthcare industry is no exception, as telehealth is becoming more prevalent each year. While it might seem to be something out of a sci-fi movie, telehealth is an extremely useful form of care and is expected to grow over the coming years.
What Is Telehealth?
Telehealth is the practice of using digital communication and resources to provide medical assistance to individuals. It’s similar to telecommunications, or communication via phone, text, and computer. One basic example of telehealth could be those popular meditation apps that guide people through a mindfulness exercise while providing tips for reducing stress and anxiety. Sure, these apps aren’t your doctor or psychologist, but it’s just one example of telehealth.
Another example does involve real medical professionals. Online patient portals and online therapies are becoming more popular, especially among millennials who are already tech-savvy and prefer communicating digitally. Apps such as BetterHelp connect users with real therapists while weight-loss apps such as Noom link people to scientific nutrition articles and health coaches.
Online Screenings and Recommendations
Another way that people are using telehealth is by taking online screenings and assessments. Healthcare institutions and organizations have created digital surveys and screening tools. Individuals can use these tools to assess a variety of things such as their risk of eating disorders, diabetes, substance abuse, and more. These kinds of tools are usually linked to certified professionals as well as additional resources to help at-risk individuals get the help they deserve.
Personal Health Monitoring
Finally, telehealth can be seen in things such as Fitbits. These kinds of devices and apps help people track their own health, giving them more control and empowerment over their well-being. They can see the progression of their health goals as well as any changes that may prompt them to see a doctor.