This is the second of a series of articles related to health-tech and how important it is. This was made with a partnership with Minerva we worked on the “Buenos Aires Civic Challenge” to answer the question: How important is a good UX to improve healthcare services in developing countries? The deliverables were several articles tackling different topics. Here is the second one of them.
Telemedicine is the provision of remote clinical services by healthcare professionals to patients via telecommunications technology. Since the 1950s, doctors have used the telephone to transmit radiographic images. But in today’s world, this doctor to doctor communication has expanded to include doctor to patient communication. A doctor in Cordoba could be diagnosing a patient in Buenos Aires with their laptop.
Why is this so important? Telemedicine fosters connectivity between those in need and those who provide it. Patients located in rural or remote areas or who have disabilities are now able to receive care without making a long journey to the doctor’s office.
A study shows 🔎 that telemedicine patients score lower for depression, anxiety, and stress, and have 38% fewer hospital admissions, thus also reducing unnecessary hospital expenses.
Banner Health x VeeMed
Enabling collaboration between doctors
When COVID-19 caused a rush of patients to flood hospitals, Banner Health worked with Intel and VeeMed to bring advanced software to more than 1,000 in-room televisions across their facilities, which allowed top specialists to consult patients without risking transmission. Remote care helped preserve the short supply of personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves, and face shields which would typically be needed for in-person consultations.
Apollo Hospitals - Himachal Pradesh Telehealth Services Project
Increasing accessibility to healthcare in remote locations
Apollo Hospitals set up one of the highest telemedicine stations in the world in the Himalayas! Through using 512 kbps satellite connections and VSee video-conferencing software, Apollo Hospitals’ two telemedicine stations in the remote villages of Kaza and Keylong are able to connect with specialists across India. A man involved in an auto accident was able to get a consultation from an emergency specialist within eight minutes of a Tele Emergency request!
19% of Latin Americans live in rural areas, 9% of the population is over 65, and this is only increasing. The big divide in access to healthcare between rural and urban areas has led to the need for an alternative to in-person treatment. Telemedicine is trying to bridge this divide and there are already a promising number of organizations leading its widespread growth:
However, adoption of telemedicine is not equal across Latin America; while countries like Chile and Brazil are leading the way, Argentina is falling behind.
For two main reasons:
Argentina has quite some catching up to do. In particular, here are the next steps that Argentina should be taking:
Imagine a future where instead of being concentrated in one hospital, healthcare can take place virtually anywhere - on a ⛰️ mountain in Patagonia, 🏠 a rural area of La Pampa province, or 🌆 in the middle of the city of Buenos Aires. The future looks promising if Argentina can step up!