• Paddy Roy

5 Challenges of telemedicine!

Updated: Jun 15, 2020

Telemedicine has been the future for so many years that it has become old without achieving its youth. It’s the dry ice of medicine. It’s the Biotechnology of careers!

But not anymore, telemedicine with the potion of COVID-19 will now rise from the ashes!

As with many other changes after COVID-19, it seems telemedicine will also be the new normal of the glorious 2020 decade! Glorious for SARS CoV2 of course! Nevertheless, it still has many challenges to overcome.

1. The Time paradox

While patients have all the time for a doctor, doctors have hardly any time for even the apple(s) of their eyes whoever they may be!

On a serious note, since online consultation hasn’t been a norm, most of the doctors don’t use it. Even of those who use it, online consulting is just a peripheral practice for them. This makes doctors unsure of their availability (Since they’re usually running on a pretty tight schedule!) and thus they often miss their teleconsultation appointments.

2. Mode of consultation

Doctors and patients, the eternal couple, have been seeing each other from the times much earlier than Dr Jenner. But telemedicine seems to bring along some discomforts of long-distance relationships.

One of the biggest user experience puzzle in online consulting is ‘mode of consultation’ – chat or audio or video. While it may feel like a good experience for a patient if it’s a video consultation, the doctor may not prefer it many times as it’s not required. So, a forced video call may stop a doctor, especially an established one, from using telemedicine as a medium.

3. Video quality

While camera filters have given us many home-made Tiktok stars, they haven’t been much of a help in live videos.

Tele-consultation needs a high-quality resolution for an effective consultation. But to have even a good resolution video call, good internet connectivity on both sides is indispensable which can be managed seamlessly in some cases only.

4. Scattered medical reports

Medical record of a patient in a doctor-patient relationship is like a horoscope in a marriage.

As telemedicine grows the importance of online medical history and medical data will increase for a better analysis of patients. As of now, either the medical history of patients is scattered in different EHRs in different hospitals or is stored on local PCs. This makes both the availability of complete history and the seamless accessibility of the same missing.

5. Privacy

The doctor-patient relationship is both very sacred and top secret. But like any other relationship, secrecy is hard to maintain.

Medical data while being very personal data on one hand is also very sensitive on the other. During telemedicine practices, it should be made sure that data recorded should not lose privacy. It should also be kept in mind about the ownership of data and therefore data shouldn’t be used without clear consent.

Hope this post inspires someone to build a Tinder for doctors and patients.

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