Telemedicine was introduced with the aim of providing access of comprehensive care to the farthest areas of the country. With a very thin percentage of physicians practicing in rural areas, this technology has provided a ray of hope for those who are starved of medical care.
Telemedicine provides the leverage to its patients at periphery of proper diagnosis, prescribing medicine, providing treatment or even educating patient on a particular issue without spending time and money in travelling to other distant towns for the same.
With such positive benefits, what limitation is this technology still facing for its growth?
Though, a recent BBC research reveals that, the global telemedicine market has grown from $9.8 billion in 2010 to $11.6 billion in year 2011 but, this growth pattern may not be fully utilizing the potential of this technology.
We all stand by the fact that this technology has major challenge attached to it of convincing different healthcare organizations to collaborate, finding funds, irregular site visits and training the staff in handling such high-tech equipment. But, for telemedicine to best live up to its potential and expand even further, these shortcomings need an immediate focus.
Implementation of Obama administration’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has driven the trend of using telemedicine as a tool for providing medical care to the underserved population in US. The recent initiatives taken by Narayana Hrudayalaya, India, in helping of setting up telemedicine unit of cardiology care in Saudi Arabia and of US Davis Medical Centre in setting up pediatric speciality in rural area of California can help in intensifying the effect of this technology even further.
Though, many healthcare institutions have started to admire this booming technology, but the feeble post functional payouts are keeping them away from investing in it with full fortitude.