More health providers are adopting telemedicine in their practices, citing a need to fill gaps in patient care as their main reasoning, a recent study has shown.
Nearly half (46%) of respondents in the 2014 HIMSS Analytics Telemedicine Study said they used telemedicine in their practice. Telemedicine is the exchanging of medical information via electronic communications including two-way video, email, smartphones, wireless tools and other forms of telecommunications technology.
The most popular form of technology used was two-way video messaging at 60%, imaging sharing technology was used by 55% and less than 20% were using smartphones for telemedicine.
The respondents to the survey included hospital directors as well as doctors and nurses in both hospitals and private practices. The primary drivers that were listed for adopting telemedicine methods were filling gaps in patient care (40%,) offering care that wasn’t otherwise available (23%,) and removing barriers to patient care (15%.)
Those surveyed listed the main benefits of using telemedicine as the ability to provide round-the-clock care at (19%) as well as to be able to provide remote consultations to patients (18%.) Telemedicine is being used the most in rural areas with 44% of those surveyed listing it as their main reason for using technology in their practice.