The Potential of Telemedicine Technology in Developing Countries
With the introduction of Telemedicine services in developing countries like Africa, gone are the days where the physical presence of a doctor was vital for treating a patient. Today by using video-based telemedicine solutions can help patients living in even distant areas to consult medical experts from various fields. Using equipment that can extend from the basic video conferencing to a full-fledged suite of telemedicine, doctors are expanding their scope for reaching people.
Telemedicine technology is supporting fields like Cardiology, Dermatology, Neurology, Psychiatry, Radiology, Pathology and a lot more. It can also help its patients in getting post-surgery follow-up, take the second opinion and even get consultations while sitting at home.
Challenges Down The Road
Regardless of the contributions being done worldwide to support African countries, it still faces major healthcare challenges. There is still a great shortage of physicians, equipment, medicines, specialists and mostly awareness to level up in terms of addressing the needs of each and every individual.
Costs Involved in Wide Scale Establishment
To combat situations like system failures, software upgrades, part replacements and much more needs to be addressed immediately. But, it takes some amount of investment and trained personals that can professionally look into the situation and address the problem. It can only be resolved by following specific procedures. Lack of availability of locally trained & certified technicians can hinder the overall growth of telemedicine in a sector.
African countries are still in the budding stage to openly agree and accept the changing technology. New technology can be considered as a hindrance to the natural healthcare services and might have to face the widespread displeasure of the millennial. Then, there is user acceptance by the healthcare workers which can prove to be even a greater challenge.Patients may tend to have doubts about the diagnoses provided due to lack of faith, which can result in mass resistance in adopting telemedicine services.
Telemedicine in its developing phase in Africa has got a lot of potentials, but only with the support of IT, it can prosper even more. There is a further high-speed internet requirement, which might not be available unanimously across Africa. To overcome such challenges, lower-tech alternatives like sending medical information via SMS to remote locations seems like a good option.
The Potential for Future Endeavours
Unlike the developed world crisis, countries of Africa face some different issues. Like having access to very basic facilities, to getting basic consultations form a doctor things can be a little handful of the people. These situations arise due to the remote location of villages, exorbitantly expensive medicines, and consultations costs, number of people lacking adequate medical facility, etc.
Telemedicine is definitely a life-changing concept and is slowing helping in improving the current crises of the country. It has increased the standards to unexpected levels. By way of virtual consultations, now patients are able to have access to decent medical prescriptions. Techniques as simple as sending SMS to a patient for reminding him to collect their medicines from a nearby pharmacy, or a follow-up appointment, can make a huge difference.
Telehealth services are in its developing phase has successfully been bringing in a lot of change, and still holds a lot of scope for improvement. Even if some persistent barriers prevent its wide-scale use, yet the benefits have been significant.
After all, all humans on earth deserve and should have access to an adequate healthcare facility.