In our current healthcare system, many people and employers are struggling to find affordable, convenient care. Costs continue to rise, and the growing physician shortage has led to increasingly long wait times to get care. To address these issues, we must find innovative ways to facilitate hassle-free, cost-effective access to doctors. Technology has revolutionized almost every industry in the modern world. It changes the way we drive, the way we communicate, the way we eat and sleep, and even the fabric of the traditional 8 to 5 workdays. It is hard to imagine not being able to instantly text or call someone on the other side of the country or not being able to check your email while in the car. Almost every aspect of modern life has been made faster and more convenient through telecommunications technology. Except health care. Even as technology has improved, access to health care has worsened for many Americans. The Affordable Care Act may have increased the number of people with health insurance, but the fact is that health care remains unaffordable and inconvenient for most people. An increasing percentage of health insurance plans have expensive premiums, sky-high deductibles, and costly copays. People are paying for care that they can hardly afford to use. Plus, physician shortages mean absurdly long wait times, especially in crowded cities. Patients are resorting to urgent cares and emergency rooms, making care even more expensive. Patients in rural areas face an even greater challenge: rural hospitals are closing, meaning long drive times and limited access to specialists in their area. Employers are also struggling with rising costs. Unable to sustain their current benefit levels, they have been forced to reduce benefits and shift health care costs to employees through higher premiums, deductibles, and copays. Technological advances have done little to help these worrying trends. But there is a solution that could help millions of Americans get more affordable, convenient access to care: telehealth. Telehealth is a solution that helps combat these trends, but it has not yet lived up to its expectations. Many of the current products in the market are ineffective, because brokers, insurance companies, and major telehealth companies are more concerned with their own profits than with providing real solutions. But with more education and utilization, telehealth could revolutionize the healthcare industry and provide better access to care for millions of Americans that need it. "Telehealth," put simply, means using telecommunications technology to provide remote care. The term encompasses any use of telecommunications technology in the medical field, even faxing a prescription to a pharmacy, but typically when people use the word "telehealth" or "telemedicine," they are talking about virtual doctor visits. With these telehealth services, patients can call or video conference with a doctor instead of going into a physicians' office, urgent care, or other site of care. The doctors can diagnosis, treat, and manage illnesses and other medical conditions remotely. This lowers the overall cost to deliver care as well as reduces the total time involved for the patient and provider. Telehealth brings the medical care to the patient, wherever they are. It enables patients to get the care they need, without sacrificing valuable time or money to get it. Most importantly, the book is based on the recognition that patients need better health care options and telehealth is vital to health care's future if delivered properly
The Truth about Telehealth: Why a Revolutionary Industry Has Failed to Deliver and How It Can Still Be a Game-Changer for Healthcare
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