Pediatric Telemedicine Provides Safety Net for Young Patients

Telemedicine

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Distance is no longer a barrier to healthcare delivery and monitoring in telemedicine. Telemedicine has come a long way since its inception and is now an effective tool for the remote monitoring of patients. Pediatric telemedicine, in particular, has proven to be a useful intervention for young patients who are susceptible to illness or injury due to their age and developmental level. However, only some telemedicine services are created equal; some may offer more functionality than others. The following article will review key considerations when choosing a pediatric telemedicine service provider.

What is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine is the delivery of healthcare services and data via electronic communications. The terms telemedicine and e-health are often used interchangeably, although e-health encompasses all electronic health-related services, such as electronic medical records and health information exchange. The advent of internet-based communication has provided the necessary infrastructure to make telemedicine feasible. Telemedicine has four communication modalities – voice, video, data, and image. Voice communication is achieved through telephone and voice-over-internet protocol (VOIP) services. Video communication is established through secure video conferencing technology. Transmission of data is performed via secure internet portals and other communication networks. Image transmission is achieved via specialized tools for medical imaging.

Remote Monitoring of Pediatric Patients

Remote monitoring is one of the most common applications of pediatric telemedicine. It is usually used for patients who are susceptible to illness and injury due to their age and developmental level. These patients are monitored from a central location, sometimes from the home or primary care provider’s office, where trained professionals observe them through cameras or internet portals. Remote monitoring provides high-quality images and sound, allowing medical providers to monitor patients in real-time and intervene, if necessary, with immediacy and accuracy. Remote monitoring can be used for patients with chronic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, hemophilia, diabetes, and sickle cell disease, among others. It can also be used for patients whose families have no nearby healthcare providers.

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Remote Consultation for Care Coordination

Care coordination is the seamless integration of services provided by different providers and facilities. For example, a pediatric patient with asthma and diabetes being treated at a nearby hospital and a local clinic may require the coordination of services. In a scenario, telemedicine can be used for the remote consultation of a specialist to guide the local provider and parents of the patient. Care coordination also provides an opportunity for the remote consultation of an expert to advise a local provider in critical conditions.

With Hucu.ai, you can securely communicate with network partners, patients, and approved patients’ family members in one universal system, in addition to using HIPAA-compliant instant messaging for facility internal communication. It can also be integrated into your EHR to boost your staff’s efficiency. It includes built-in features that simplify communication between staff/collaborators working in different organizations but caring for the same patients.

Special Features and Functionalities in Pediatric Telemedicine

  • Video Calls: Video is an important modality in pediatric telemedicine as it offers a better sense of the child’s environment, including the bed’s location, bedroom toys, and other items that can be dangerous to them.
  • Audio: Audio can be helpful in the monitoring of children with chronic diseases, such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, and diabetes, who need to be monitored regularly.
  • Health records: Secure portals are available to store and transmit medical records.
  • Two-way audio and video: Two-way audio and video allow the patient, parents, and healthcare providers to communicate with one another.
  • Interoperability: Data, voice, and image can be exchanged between providers and vendors connected to the secure telemedicine network.
  • Remote prescription for medication: Some telemedicine services allow for prescriptions for medication to be transmitted to pharmacies of choice, which reduces the time involved in filling a prescription.
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Important Factors When Choosing a Telemedicine Service Provider

  • Number of users: Some services cater to one user, while others have the capacity to serve a large number of users.
  • Number of devices: The number and type of devices used to access the service should be considered.
  • Device compatibility: Compatibility with specific devices, such as computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other devices, should be checked.
  • Device security: Secure devices should be used to protect personal information.
  • Data transmission: Robust networks should be used for high-quality data transmission.
  • Bandwidth: Bandwidth indicates the amount of data that can be transmitted at one time.
  • Types of data that can be exchanged: Data that can be exchanged through the service should be checked.
  • Quality of customer service: The quality of customer service should be high to reduce the risk of assistance by agents.
  • Types of assistance offered by agents: The assistance offered by customer service agents should be relevant to the customer’s needs.
  • Cost-effectiveness: The cost of the service should be reasonable.
  • Legal compliance: Some telemedicine services comply with regulatory requirements, while others do not.

Risks of Pediatric Telemedicine

Exposure to cyberbullying – Cyberbullying has become prevalent in most parts of the world. Children who are treated in remote locations are particularly vulnerable to cyberbullying. Sexual predators can also use this tool to exploit children. – Unethical practices – There are instances where unethical practices have been reported in remote healthcare facilities using pediatric telemedicine. For example, it has been reported that pediatric telemedicine is being used in some remote locations in India to conduct illegal organ trade. This can be dangerous for children who suffer from a variety of diseases. – Exposure to sexually transmitted diseases – There are many diseases that can be transmitted through pediatric telemedicine. A child can contract any of these diseases just like any other person. – Remote devices can malfunction – It is possible that remote devices can malfunction and harm children. – The technology is still in its nascent stages – There are many issues that pediatric telemedicine needs to address. These issues will be resolved as the technology matures.

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Conclusion

Undoubtedly, telemedicine has come a long way since its inception and is now used as an effective tool for the remote monitoring of patients. Pediatric telemedicine, in particular, has proven to be a useful intervention for young patients who are susceptible to illness or injury due to their age and developmental level. However, only some telemedicine services are created equal; some may offer more functionality than others. 

Telemedicine is the remote delivery of health care services through communication technology. Pediatric telemedicine is a growing segment in the field of Telecare. The use of modern communication technologies has made it easier for healthcare professionals to work from remote locations. This has enabled better delivery of healthcare services to underprivileged parts of the country. The cost-effectiveness and reduced time lag in the provision of healthcare facilities have further enhanced the use of telemedicine as a primary healthcare delivery tool. In fact, Telecare services have increased manifold owing to this innovation in medicine. 

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