healthcare sector substantially has developed over the years thanks to the convenience
brought by the current technologies advancements. Nevertheless, there are still
many difficulties that the industry has to deal with, especially when it comes
to accessibility, provision and convenience of services both for the patients
and the medical providers.
the answers the medical profession and the health sector have brought up to deal
with these issues is telemedicine. What is telemedicine? It is the remote
diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of telecommunications technology. Besides
from bringing patients and medical providers together via various modes of
communication, telemedicine also supplies a way for health care professionals
to consult with other physicians.
Earlier on, telemedicine was commonly used
to provide a connection to doctors working with a patient in one location to
specialists elsewhere. This was of great advantage to rural or hard to reach places
where specialists aren’t easily and readily accessible. Throughout the next
several decades, the equipment necessary to conduct remote visits remained
expensive and complex, so the use of the approach, while growing, was limited.
The increased use of the internet brought
with it significant changes for the telemedicine practices. The risen use of
smart devices into the global market, capable of high-quality video. More so, consequentially
the growth of today’s telemedicine is the rising mobile (smartphones) health field.
With the various mobile health applications, new mobile medical devices that
are user-friendly and patients are starting to use technology to observe and
track their health. Basic home-use medical devices that can take signs and
symptoms, and diagnose ear infections, monitor glucose levels, or measure blood
pressure, lets patients gather needed medical information for use by the doctor
to perform diagnosis, without booking a doctor’s appointment. And again, as
more patients get signup to using technology to help manage their health status,
they also will be more open to alternative ways to get attention – through
CHAPTER 2: METHODOLOGY
explored the nature and purpose of qualitative research, this article explores
data collection techniques used in qualitative research. There are a variety of
methods of data collection in qualitative research, i.e. observations, textual
or visual analysis (e.g. from books or videos) and interviews (individual or
group). However, the most common methods used, particularly in healthcare
research, are interviews and focus groups.
Qualitative research interviews
are three types of research interviews: structured, semi-structured and
unstructured. Structured interviews are, verbally administered questionnaires,
in which a list of predetermined questions are asked, with little variation and
with no scope for follow-up questions to responses that require further clarity.
unstructured interviews do not reflect any preexisting theories or ideas and are
performed with little or no format. Such an interview may simply start with an
opening question and will then progress based, primarily, upon the initial
interviews consists of several key questions that help to shape the areas to be
discovered, but also allows the interviewer or interviewee to diverge in order
to follow up an idea or response in more detail. This interview format is used
most frequently in healthcare, as it provides participants with some guidance
on what to talk about, which many find helpful.
purpose of research interviews
of the research interview is to explore the views from various individuals on
specific matters. Qualitative methods, such as interviews, are believed to enlighten
us on social phenomena than would be obtained from purely quantitative methods,
such as questionnaires. Interviews are, therefore, most appropriate where
little is already known about the study phenomenon or where detailed insights
are required from individual participants. They are also particularly
appropriate for exploring sensitive topics, where participants may not want to
talk about such issues in a group environment.
designing an interview schedule it is important to ask questions that are
likely to yield as much information about the study phenomenon as possible and
also be able to address the aims and objectives of the research. In a
qualitative interview, questions should be open-ended (i.e., require more than
a yes/no answer), neutral, sensitive and understandable. It is usually best to
start with questions that participants can answer easily and then proceed to
more advanced topics. This can help put respondents at ease, build up
confidence and rapport and often generates rich data that subsequently develops
the interview further.
length of interviews varies depending on the topic, researcher and participant.
However, on average, healthcare interviews last 20-60 minutes. Interviews can
be done on a one-off or, if change over time is of interest, repeated basis,
for example exploring the psychosocial impact of oral trauma on participants
and their subsequent experiences of cosmetic dental surgery.
groups share many common features with less structured interviews, but there is
more to them than merely collecting similar data from many participants at
once. A focus group is a group discussion on a particular topic organized for
research purposes. This discussion is guided, monitored and recorded by a
researcher (sometimes called a moderator or facilitator).
When focus groups are used
groups are used for generating information on collective views, and the
meanings that lie behind those views. They are also useful in generating a rich
understanding of participants’ experiences and beliefs. Suggested criteria for
using focus groups include:
As a standalone method, for research relating to
group norms, meanings and processes
In a multi-method design, to explore a topic or
collect group language or narratives to be used in later stages
To clarify, extend, qualify or challenge data collected
through other methods
To feedback results to research participants.
a focus group looks easy when done well, but requires a complex set of skills. The
moderator should facilitate group discussion, keeping it focused without
leading it. They should also be able to prevent the discussion being dominated
by one member, ensure that all participants have ample opportunity to
contribute, allow differences of opinions to be discussed fairly and, if
required, encourage reticent participants.
and focus groups remain the most common methods of data collection in
qualitative research, and are now being used with increasing frequency in
dental research, particularly to access areas not amendable to quantitative
methods and/or where depth, insight and understanding of particular phenomena
CHAPTER 3: LITERATURE REVIEW
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This app links a patient with his
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can also reply to the voice messages and text and view those pictures sent by
The app is a 2 way communication tools
for the patients and their doctor.
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patients automatically receive an email to set up account and join appointment;
Clinical Protocols: Customized telemedicine formula specific to your practice –
Know exactly when and how to use telemedicine; Custom Patient Marketing: Easily
market to patients about telemedicine with custom in-office and online
materials; Streamlined Patient Workflow: Automated appointment reminder emails
and an experience that mimics the in-office workflow with a virtual waiting
CHAPTER 4: FINDINGS AND OBSERVATION
Telemedicine impacts patients and providers is quite significant. As a
fast-growing field in the healthcare sector, telemedicine shows a lot of
promise in solving various difficulties that health professionals and patients
are facing today. Supplying a range of advantages for both patients and medical
providers, it offers:
Pros of Telemedicine
the latest telemedicine initiatives can help your practice achieve numerous
More Convenient and Accessible Patient Care
to a recent Cisco global survey, 74% of patients prefer easy access to
healthcare services over in-person interactions with providers.
Healthcare Cost Savings
analysis and monitoring services and electronic data storage significantly
reduce healthcare costs, saving money for you, your patients, and insurance
Extended Specialist and Referring Physician
telehealth, patients in rural or remote areas benefit from quicker and more
convenient access to specialists. These patients go through longer appointment travels
and have trouble accessing lifesaving consultations for specific illnesses or
chronic care plans.
Increased Patient Engagement
patients are committed to improve their healthcare goals, it aims to lower
costs and better healthcare service.
Better Patient Care Quality
offers ways to improve patient-centered approaches. This is critical to patient
care quality. Patients can address healthcare issues quickly with real-time care
consultations and learn about treatment alternatives quickly. A new study shows
that telemedicine patients score lower for depression, anxiety, and stress, and
have 38% fewer hospital admissions.
Cons of Telemedicine
telemedicine shows no limit to its growth over the upcoming decades or so and
has clear benefits, it still poses some technical and practical difficulties in
the health sector.
Technical Training and Equipment
IT staff responsibilities and purchasing equipment cost demanding. Training is
crucial to building an effective telemedicine system. Physicians, specialists and
other medical staff require training on the new systems to ensure a solid ROI.
On top of that, your staffing requirements may decrease.
Reduced Care Continuity
up with patients’ records and visits will be difficult due to patients using
telemedicine services from a variety of medical specialist. This makes it hard
for specialists to provide health services as maintaining patients’ details is
the primary core for any health institution.
Fewer In-Person Consultations
in touch and regular patient visits to the clinic is a common activity in
health institutions. This is a recent development in the industry and it will
take time to adjust. Although telemedicine is a good alternative and the way to
Tricky Policies and Reimbursement Rules
policies always tend to take lots of time to be implemented. Such as the
healthcare laws and rules may lag and take time to come into place. Hence this
delays technological advancements in the health sector as technology
continuously evolves very fast as compared to the implementation of the
CHAPTER 5: RECOMMENDATIONS
Improving patient assessment and review
the process by which to assess and review telemedicine users to improve
efficient use of resources via sites is important. Methods for improvement
include additional information from clinicians referred to them for assessment.
Improving service delivery
sites aimed at improving the monitoring and triage of telemedicine patients’
process. Each using their own standardization, and therefore targeting elements
of their service for improvement.
Improving data sharing and access
work on improving sharing of data and access. Knowing that solutions to solve
the interoperability issues between monitoring software and electronic patient
record systems were not available.
Raising awareness of telemedicine
of information to raise awareness to telemedicine and related ideas for action
for medical teams to use telemedicine, working closely with related groups and
commissions; hosting events to boost telemedicine usage.
Improving evaluation of telemedicine
and further research to understand telemedicine consequences was agreed upon. Divided
opinions on the rationale of investments in telemedicine.
Securing financial investment for telemedicine
investments were recommended as to secure future investments in the health
sector via telemedicine focused on establishing relationships with technology
providers. Short-term funding was just a barrier.
funding of telemedicine was identified as a barrier to implementation. To
secure future investment, participants focused on establishing relationships
with technology providers and local decision-makers; scoping out the potential
of new technologies that were available; and identifying the needs of users and
clinicians that could be addressed with telehealth. Only one site was able to
secure financial investment during the study timeframe, and in two sites there
were real concerns about the future of telehealth.