By Anisha Sulta
Telemedicine is the use of telecommunication and information technologies in order to provide clinical health care at a distance around the world. This technology permits communication between patient and doctor with convenience and fidelity as well as transmission of medical imaging and health information data from one side to another across the world. Although, there were distant precursors to telemedicine, it is essentially a product of 21st century telecommunication and information technology. The early form of telemedicine was achieved with telephone and radio has been supplemented with video telephony.
ADVANTAGES OF TELEMEDICINE:
Telemedicine is a wonderful new tool that is proving to be a resource. It has the potential to help million of people all over the world regardless what their medical condition are.
1) It helps to elimite the distance barrier and can improve access to medical service that would often not be consistently available in distant rural communities.
2) It also helps to save the life in critical care and emergency situation.
3) One of the most advantages is that it can be use for military personnel. They are often times located in areas of the world that Telemedicine is the only way to diagnose and treat them.
In fact, it can go anywhere as it is both versatile and effective.
DISADVANTAGES OF TELEMEDICINE:
Well some experts complain that there are actually quite a few disadvantages that are
1) First of all, one problem is that many fear that it will take away from persol one on one time. Conferences and video can't replace valuable time between doctor and patient or more persol discussion that doctors/ physicians might otherwise have with each other.
2) Legal complications are raising another red flag. Loss and a set code of rules and ethics will first need to be applied before telemedicine can be used regularly in various capacities. This alone might take sometimes.
SCOPE IN VETERIRY PRACTICE:
Telemedicine has also picked up in the veteriry practice and many private entrepreneurs have jumped into as service providers. Prominent me in the field of Telemedicine in veteriry practice all over the world is VDIC from USA.
In Indian context, asynchronous Telemedicine involving sending of case details and image/ laboratory reports via e-mail to experts for a second opinion is gaining ground. Real-time telemedicine involving text/ video set with the experts has also become more feasible with the availability of broadband internet connection in rural areas also. Standardized system need to be develop for the transmission of data like case history, ECG, ultrasonography, radiograph and laboratory test reports etc. in order to minimized errors due to miscommunication. Creation of website where field veteririan can upload their case details in a standard format and experts from veteriry colleges or anywhere across the globe can give their opinion would go a long way towards dissemiting information on complicated case and ensuring best possible veteriry care. Data collections on such a website over a period of time include interventions carried out and resultant effect would help in evaluation of various therapeutic strategies and serves as a guideline for future reference. We must adopt it with open arms in order to ensure that two-way flow of information is facilitated between field veteririans and subject experts, thus, resulting in an enriching experience for both.