By Claudia Amaro
There is no doubt that COVID 19 is changing our lives. If you have children at home, you can probably notice it even more in the field of education with most schools closed due to the pandemic and the need to help our children to continue with their education at home.
In terms of health, we are focusing on the prevention, trying to avoid the corona virus, however, life goes on and we can face health problems other than COVID 19 and have the need to see a doctor for any other reason. Common diseases still exist and many of us face the fear of going to a clinic or hospital. Because of the situation we are experiencing if we become hospitalized, we will not be able to receive visitors and isolation would be even worse than being at home, on top of the fear of getting infected.
So, what alternatives do we have if we get sick?
The same alternative to which we have gradually succumbed in recent times: Technology.
Are we all ready for Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is the use of technology in the communication and exchange of valid information to make diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases, by medical professionals, as well as for research and evaluation activities, in order to improve the health of people and their communities. According to the website of the Mexican Government, Tele-medicine is an open and constantly evolving science, since it incorporates new advances in technology, responds and adapts to the changing health needs and contexts of society.
Another similar term is Telehealth, many uses both terms for the same purpose however others try to separate the two services by restricting telemedicine to only doctors and Telehealth to services also provided by other health professionals such as nurses, pharmacists and others.
The first time in history that telemedicine was visualized was in 1924, when Radio News magazine published a futuristic illustration showing a machine with television and microphone that allowed a patient to communicate with his doctor, but the first uses of telemedicine were not given until the late 1950s. In 1959, the University of Nebraska used interactive telemedicine to transmit neurological examinations.
Telemedicine was developed to provide medical care to people living in remote areas and in the 1960s and 1970s the idea was strongly promoted by NASA studies, as astronauts could not travel to space with a doctor next to them.
The truth is that the use of Telemedicine and Telehealth is more common than we imagine and many of the hospitals and clinics we visit are probably already offering these services.
Just remember, every time you are looking for a service whether it’s legal, medical or financial make sure to do your own research, check on their credentials and ask for references from trusted people. Now that you know a little more about Telemedicine and Telehealth you decide if you give it a chance.