How Telemedicine Technology Reduces the Healthcare Costs

Extensive medical treatments can prove very expensive even to those in upper-income brackets. The cost of repeated examinations, tests, medication, second opinions, hospital stays, and emergencies adds up. The coffers of households in small towns, cities, and villages empty quickly when a family member is afflicted by a prolonged illness. It is common for family members to pool their resources for the treatment of an afflicted member. Often the money shared proves insufficient for treatment because in most cases, proper treatment is available in distant cities. Travelling regularly to such cities and making provisions for stays is expensive for most living in smaller cities and towns.

Telemedicine has proven to be an effective technology for treating residents of small cities, towns, and villages where good healthcare is inadequate or absent. Communities in remote parts of India don’t have access to specialists who can treat people well. Those without access to quality doctors often turn to local doctors with limited expertise. Such recourse often results in unfavourable treatment outcomes. The advantage of telemedicine is that it bridges the distance between remote communities and the world’s leading specialists.

How Telemedicine Works

Telemedicine works from inside e-clinics that are equipped with computer portals through which specialists- practising in leading hospitals- examine patients. Such specialists may practice in hospitals located hundreds or thousands of kilometres from e-clinics. A specialist can successfully examine patients who visit e-clinics through a computer screen. The efficacy of such examinations has proven higher than even face-to-face examinations. Furthermore, treatment outcomes at e-clinics have proven more favourable than those of regular clinics.

Lower OPD Costs

E-clinics are not a novelty; they have been around in some form since the 1970s. What's different today is that advances in technology have it possible for doctors to examine patients as quickly as if the patient were in front of them. It has been found that treatments at e-clinics are less expensive than treatments in nearby clinics. For instance, the cost of an OPD at an e-clinic is merely INR 800 while that in a regular clinic may be as much as INR 1,500. For residents of smaller towns and cities, this price differential between examinations in e-clinics and regular clinics results in considerable savings. Even more importantly, patients at e-clinics are examined by the world's best doctors. While those seeking treatment in traditional clinics and hospitals must settle for the expertise of local doctors.The cost savings made possible by e-clinics extend beyond cheaper OPDs.

Inexpensive, Hassle-Free Treatment

One of the most prominent challenges residents of remote towns and cities face is the lack of suitable healthcare facilities. While doctors in remote areas may be competent in their fields, they may not have the equipment, training, or skill to treat many critical illnesses. Hence citizens from regions lacking proper healthcare must travel considerable distances to be treated by qualified physicians. The trouble of going to large metro cities and visiting several hospitals for treatment is a massive hassle. Often several trips are required to large cities. Such journeys prove extremely expensive and detrimental to the health of those in need of treatment. Patients and their families must make multiple appointments before finalising a hospital where a procedure will be performed. All the while the person in need of medical treatment continues suffering.

Telemedicine eliminates the challenges those living in small towns and cities face. Should a patient living in a remote part of India need medical treatment that is available only in a large urban centre, all the necessary arrangements can be made from a nearby e-clinic. The appointment for a procedure can be easily made online, resulting in the patient making only a single journey to a world-class healthcare facility. As a result, residents of smaller towns and cities enjoy the most excellent treatment possible, at a low cost. Additionally, they are saved the hassle of having to travel repeatedly to a large town to seek an appointment.Telemedicine is a proven technology that delivers quality healthcare to those who don’t have easy access to it. It is inexpensive and frees patients and families from much of the leg work that goes into searching for treatment in large urban cities.