Telehealth may sound like something out of a science fiction novel, but doctors have been working on the development of telehealth since the 1950s.
It started with something very simple; doctors would take phone calls from patients who weren’t able to come in and receive medical treatment. Now, however, with the COVID-19 pandemic that hardly allows people to leave their homes, remote advice and exams by a doctor are becoming increasingly popular and common.
Because of the risk of contracting coronavirus, patients who were undergoing cancer treatment, or were scheduled to visit their doctor because of another illness, had to postpone their in-person appointments. However, taking care of those who are sick can’t often wait, so telehealth took center stage in the medical world.
Doctors wondered how they could best help their patients in unprecedented times, and how to spread the information digitally. There are many ways that were tried-and-true, yet effective, and others that are newer and more modern.
Telehealth opens up worlds of opportunities that allow for more flexible medical care, and digital marketing offers many ways to ease the spread of medical information online.
Benefits of Telehealth
Before COVID-19, telehealth may not have seemed very important. After all, most people can visit the hospital or the doctor’s office when they need healthcare. But now that the pandemic has changed daily life and made it harder to go places, medical treatment and consultation have also been altered.
Telehealth and remote medical care calm the nerves and worries of many who have concerns about the coronavirus, but it has other benefits as well outside of a pandemic situation. Telehealth allows for easy, quick communication between patients and doctors, via phone, email, chat, or some other kind of technology, which reduces the need to go to the hospital.
Additionally, those who live in rural areas and don’t have access to a regular doctor’s office or an emergency room can still receive care remotely. And, patients have more flexibility with telehealth, as they are able to connect with doctors on their own time.
Simple Ways to Inform Patients
Not everything concerning technology has to be complicated. There are many simple, easy ways that medical workers are able to get information to their patients and help them through this challenging pandemic. Updating the website of the hospital or doctor’s office was one of the first steps taken.
Websites provide so much information about the establishment itself, the employees that work there, and measures taken concerning COVID-19, and it is often the first place a patient will go to, so making sure it is up to date is crucial. Frequently asked questions can also be answered so patients can save time and find clear, concise answers to many of their questions.
A lot of patients are immunocompromised and are very concerned about COVID-19 and what the hospital and doctors are doing to protect patients, so a section where questions are answered can be very beneficial and take away some of those worries if patients do have to come into the building. Questions concerning remote healthcare and telehealth, in general, can also be answered, too.
Answering questions provides transparency, as well, and often calms patients.
Social Media and Google
Some would say that social media has taken over our lives, and while it certainly can have some negative effects on its users, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as search engines like Google and Yahoo, have many benefits when it comes to telehealth.
Doctors, hospitals, clinics, and other medical establishments can advertise their services and discuss healthcare information to make sure everyone gets the care they need, remotely, or in person. Social media is a great way to reach millions of people while still making sure everyone stays safe from COVID-19.
Google offers a form of advertisement called “search ads”, which takes a new spin on the way searching on the Internet usually goes. Usually, people search for something they need, but with search ads, the companies that provide the goods and services people want can see what the audience is searching for what good or service.
For example, if a podiatrist uses search ads, they can see who has been searching for a foot doctor or has been complaining of foot-related pain and can offer treatment and advice to that audience, so neither party has to leave the comfort of their homes.
Telehealth has taken on a new role during the COVID-19 pandemic and has allowed for doctors to still treat patients safely. Digital marketing, through Google, social media, email, and other forms of technology, has allowed for telehealth to be accessible to more people and will continue to help it develop and grow.