Telemedicine: Transforming the future of cardiology

Importance of Telemedicine for Cardiologists

As countries around the globe enforce self-isolation and social distancing to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth is emerging as a critical tool to connect physicians and other healthcare professionals with patients dealing with chronic cardiovascular conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a need for innovation in the way cardiology care is delivered.

The statistics around heart disease are heart-wrenching absolutely, and the care community is coming up with new and more advanced ways to help manage it. However, it can often be hard to help patients manage heart disease properly, as much of the treatment and necessary lifestyle changes occur outside the walls of the hospital. Moreover, in the event of an emergency, there's always the question of getting a patient to a care facility on time. But with the help of telemedicine services, a patient can consult the physician anytime and from anywhere. 

But with the help of telemedicine services, it has been shown to improve treatment for people suffering from chronic diseases, including those who have heart disease. Telemedicine can help physicians better monitor their patient's vital signs and activities remotely daily, which ultimately helps to manage the condition properly and also improve care. One of the unique challenges healthcare providers face is that many of the patients require frequent monitoring to track the progression of their congenital heart disease. Virtual visits have been very valuable in allowing the physicians to check in with families to see how their loved ones are doing and sometimes allowing them even closer follow-up than previously.

Up until few last months, telemedicine seemed like a healthcare innovation of the future to many. But now, as we face the fallout of COVID-19, telemedicine is exploding at a rate that was unthinkable only a few months ago. PatientMD offers state-of-the-art HIPAA compliant telemedicine services that connect patients to their desired physicians virtually anywhere. Our network extends around the globe, providing patients with expert care along with many more advanced healthcare services.

As providers are scrambling to transition in-person appointments online, they're seeing the advantages and unexpected benefits of telemedicine. Here are five ways telemedicine is helping the patients who are suffering from cardiology problems during COVID-19.

1. Giving patients a virtual option for regular appointments reduces their risk of unnecessary exposure. 

Normal health issues don't stop for a pandemic. Moving appointments to a virtual setting can help doctors provide follow-up care for at-risk patients remotely, ensuring that patients aren't accidentally exposed to COVID-19. It also works the other way: patients who are worried they may be infected but don't need to go to the hospital can check in with their doctor through live video consultation, without worrying about exposing others. It also eliminates the possibility of picking up COVID-19 at the hospital if it turns out they weren't already infected. PatientMD also offers 

2. Through remote appointments, quarantined healthcare providers can still care for patients. 

If a healthcare provider/cardiologist is exposed to COVID-19 and must self-quarantine, or is at a higher risk of serious complications from COVID-19, telemedicine can provide them with a way to continue working. They can conduct virtual appointments from home and still provide patients with a high level of care while relieving some of the strain on the care teams on-location at the hospital.

3. Telemedicine can help cardiologists see patients who would otherwise avoid making appointments. 

While there are still many obstacles with how much insurance companies will agree to cover for remote appointments, telemedicine may reduce the cost of some appointments. This could help attract patients who otherwise could not afford a doctor's visit. Being able to expand into new demographics and provide them with quality care can help doctors better mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

4. Telemedicine appointments allow for new flexibility, discoveries, and creativity in inpatient care. 

While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in many negative ways, there is a silver lining: it has illuminated the human capacity for creativity, resourcefulness, and discovery amid tough circumstances. Cardiologists who previously assumed that their services could not be adapted to a telemedicine format are discovering that virtual appointments can give them a valuable insight into patient’s home lives, helping them come up with therapy ideas specifically suited to each patient's home environment.

5. Telemedicine Improves Care for Heart Surgery Patients

For patients recovering from heart surgery, telemedicine and remote monitoring can also be useful, especially for those living far from care facilities. This is according to a research which studied satisfaction levels for rural patients after cardiovascular surgery. It is like the patient is getting the same service but with a very minor hassle and the same applies to the physician as well.  

Final Words:

COVID-19 is having a heavy impact on the masses. It's costing us lives, physical and mental health, jobs, and the ability to have normal social interactions. But it may also force us to adapt, pushing us toward new innovations that can improve the quality of healthcare for the future.