So you finally have the weekend to rest after a long and stressful week. You’ve planned to put your feet up, watch some tv, flip through a book or magazine and just recharge, but nature has other plans. You wake up feeling symptoms in your body that are worrying. You try not to panic, and just get on with your day hoping to shake it off, but the symptoms persist.
The realization that you might be sick starts to set in, and you’re dreading having to go all the way to the hospital by yourself.
Well, here’s where telemedicine comes in.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine (also called telehealth) is any two-way communication between a doctor and a patient using video, audio, or chat technology. Telemedicine services leverage various means to connect patients and doctors, ranging from web to mobile applications.
The Need For Telemedicine In Nigeria
The latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that Nigeria’s physician-to-patient ratio is 4 doctors per 10,000 patients and patients often wait hours to be seen. In the US the ratio is 26 doctors per 10,000 people, and 28 in the UK. Its no secret why many hospital waiting rooms are quite populated and patients have to wait hours to be attended to. There simply aren’t sufficient hands to attend to patients.
Since the Coronavirus pandemic hit Nigeria in March, hospitals have been limiting in-patient visits, in order to protect their doctors from exposure to the virus, following the temporary closure of a few hospitals after doctors there tested positive to Covid-19. While this measure might be justifiable from a prevention standpoint, it however leaves many people without access to healthcare services they need.
The need for telemedicine in Nigeria has never been more clear. Telemedicine platforms like Tremendoc make it possible for patients to have online medical consultations with licensed doctors, in Nigeria, and across the world. They can also provide much needed technical support to hospitals, and enable them to provide care to patients in the comfort of their homes, thereby limiting exposure of doctors and other medical staff.
Aren’t convinced about telemedicine yet? Here are 5 reasons you should talk to a doctor online:
1. Remote Monitoring (Home health Telemedicine):
Telemedicine makes it possible for doctors to monitor their patients from the comfort of their homes. It can be used to help reassure patients and keep them safe at home while ensuring that only people who absolutely need to visit the hospital, do so.
2. Lower Healthcare Costs
Telemedicine helps patients spend considerably less money than they would on traditional, in-person visits to the hospital. It also helps healthcare providers reduce expenses of caring for patients.
3. Telemedicine is Faster, More Convenient, and Comfortable
Using Telemedicine, you can talk to a doctor online soon after you notice unusual symptoms in the body, sometimes even within seconds. In addition to speed, Telemedicine also allows you to connect with doctors from your comfort zone, which eliminates the pressure you might feel enclosed within the doctor’s office.
4. Reduced Risk
Since you do not have to be in a hospital waiting room, or in the physical presence of a doctor, you are not exposed to infectious diseases through touching of surfaces or items like furniture, books, or even play areas for children. Telemedicine also eliminates the risk of physical contact with sick patients or health care workers.
5. Reduced Travel Time
Virtual care significantly reduces travel time for individuals in areas where they do not have certain specialists close by. It helps individuals who do not have convenient transportation or have mobility problems access healthcare professionals who they otherwise would not have been able to reach.
Do you agree that telemedicine will help Nigeria in increasing access to quality healthcare? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.