Millions suffering from arthritis can benefit from the use of telemedicine, staying better connected with their physician and undergoing routine checkups over the telephone and Internet. It relieves stress on patients and family members making regular visits to the hospital or doctor’s office. Streamlining these services also has tremendous time and cost-savings resulting in doctors being able to see a greater number of patients.
Arthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage. Cartilage normally protects a joint, allowing it to move smoothly. Cartilage also absorbs shock when pressure is placed on the joint, such as when you walk. Without the normal amount of cartilage, the bones rub together, causing pain, swelling (inflammation), and stiffness.
Under telemedicine plans, patients who feel signs of acute arthritis pain coming on can quickly pick up the telephone and speak to a doctor. The American Podiatric Medical Association says warning signs of foot arthritis include pain, swelling, stiffness or tenderness; feeling that your skin is hot to the touch; and significant difficulty walking. Following a brief member authentication, patients are immediately connected to an emergency trained physician on staff around the clock.
A report published last week by the Danish company KMD contains a survey among 1100 Danish patients with chronic diseases like COPD, arthritis and diabetes. Among this large population of patients:
- 70% believes that use of telemedicine as video consultations and monitoring of the conditions at distance would ease their lives.
- 60% of the participants would like to use the possibilities these information technologies provides as a way to stay in ongoing contact with their doctors and other healthcare professionals and to get feedback without having an appointment at the hospital or clinic every time.
- More than 55% of the respondents experience less continuity in the treatment and in the process of managing their condition due to lack of shared care between the different healthcare professionals, and half of the respondents have experienced data missing when they are at the hospital or clinic visit.
- 35% of the 1100 participants thought that use of telemedicine in the managing of their condition would reduce their visits by 50% at their doctor and other healthcare providers. With the enormous and still growing need for care at all levels of healthcare, this is very interesting and very important.
Telemedicine, also called telecare or telehealth, is a service that is particularly useful for people with long-term conditions. They give patients and family peace of mind being in the safety of their own home. Stable care can be achieved at home without making regular visits to the doctor’s office. Patients can live independently at home longer, avoiding costly and time-consuming hospital stays and putting off moving to a residential care home.
Sensors and other equipment are being employed to help monitor a patient’s health at home. Various tools measure blood pressure, blood glucose levels or weight, further reducing the number of visits to a doctor or hospital.
Telemedecine plans are now available for individuals or families starting at $30 per month. Make sure to look for plans that allow you to build a relationship with your physician. Often the doctor can prescribe medications over the phone and can design and send you a custom medical kit with a majority of the medications you need on a routine basis. Also, make sure that your service includes an emergency trained physician who can help with routine checkups to emergency situations. Membership upgrades include worldwide EMT (Emergency Medical Transportation) services, video conferencing and more.
Sponsor – Call a Doctor First™ – GetMedCallAssist™ (http://www.getmedcallassist.com) was started by doctors with more than 20 years experience in emergency medicine. Our board-certified physicians are standing by to take your call with wait times usually under two minutes. We combine this service with real-time, 24/7 medical assistance via a toll-free telephone number with MedEvac transportation and physician prescribed home MedKit to create a simple, cost-effective, health plan for small businesses, groups, families and individuals.