With the advancement of software technology, like most sectors, the medical sector has also created new sub-jobs. Especially in recent days, due to Covid-19 pandemics, the result of people’s desire to access treatment facilities without going to hospitals has increased the studies carried out for flu, colds and many other diseases. Tele diagnosis and even treatment applications that started in the USA started to adapt rapidly to many countries. Some of these applications, also known as telehealth, use technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, while in others, remote views can be obtained with a real medical expert. For example, the FluAI mobile application developed by Yeşil Science, which provides personal analysis and suggestions to the upper respiratory infections such as colds and flu, can provide the patient with analyzes and recommendations using artificial intelligence.
These applications, which we can adapt as virtual patient care, are becoming more common as they contain more features. Many countries have started to invest in telemedicine applications nowadays, when we need to reduce the number of patients in the hospital. As another feature, as a result of the widespread use of these applications, the patient density on doctors will decrease and it will be provided to be able to allocate more time to each patient.
What is Telemedicine?
Many of us are lazy to make an appointment with the doctor in non-emergency situations.Or taking time from work / school intensity and going to the hospital can often be challenging. The process is even more difficult for you, especially if you live in a rural and hospital-free place. Unfortunately, these compelling reasons prevent many people from going to the doctor. As a result of such conditions, people who have problems such as cold / flu and even Covid-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, and body aches can choose to fight disease at home on their own. Since knowing the distinction between these diseases will lead to huge differences in treatment methods, it is often necessary to seek the opinion of a specialist. Even so, if there is no specialist examination, the disease can become very serious, unfortunately. As a result, the risk of transmitting the disease to other people may arise, which in this case can not be prevented and large scale damage can occur.
Telemedicine applications, which are becoming more common day by day, are eliminating the distance between the patient and the hospital. In telemedicine applications, which are primarily used in the United States, emergency physicians communicate with people who show signs of flu infection via the online conference method. If the doctor does not need any tests, drugs can be prescribed over the online system. If the doctor thinks the disease is more serious, the patient can make an appointment according to her urgency and thus a more regular patient flow can be provided.
The most important risk of some viral diseases is rapid contagiousness. Especially as we can see from the Covid-19 process, early detection and quarantine of fast-spreading viruses is essential. At this point, the most prominent feature of virtual maintenance and diagnostic applications is that it significantly reduces the contagiousness. Considering that many of the people who go to the hospital have a weak immune system, it is not unlikely that a virus entering their body will quickly return to the disease. Of course, the biggest responsibility for virtual care applications at this point is to be able to quickly transmit instant worsening patients. Otherwise, they may cause the patient’s condition to get out of control while trying to prevent the spread of the disease to others.
We all know that the emergency physicians, who can be the leading forces of the hospitals, at any time of the day. Especially in Covid-19 pandemic, the workload of all our physicians has increased. The fact that the newly developing telemedicine application enables remote examination can provide a relief in the emergency medicine section of these leading forces of hospitals.
Despite all these beautiful aspects, is there no negative side to telemedicine and virtual care applications? In fact, although the activity increases rapidly in many countries, the problems of telemedicine and virtual care applications cannot be underestimated. In addition to the difficulties that will be experienced in the long-term follow-up of the patient I mentioned earlier, the responsibility on the doctor who will conduct a remote patient examination is another inconvenience. When we look at the situation in terms of the doctor in telemedicine application, the number of parameters that cannot be detected by patients is not at all. As a result of these parameters, most doctors may take a more defensive attitude and want to physically examine all their patients. Of course, in cases where legal regulations are insufficient, a symptom that cannot be perceived remotely can be punished to the doctor. Growth of telemedicine applications will slow down at some point, unless steps are taken to improve such issues and to fill legal gaps. In short, although the popularity of telemedicine applications, whose popularity has increased even more in the Covid-19 process, may not be very popular in the process due to lack of implementation and legal gaps.