Telemedicine enables remote monitoring of patients, which not only enables a quick reaction and can thus save lives, but can also lower the number of visits to the doctor or hospital and reduce the unnecessary costs.
By using a portable ECG device, patients can check their heart at home whenever they feel any symptoms. That data is instantly transferred to the call centre, where it is reviewed by an operator, and consequently, a doctor. The patient is then contacted over the phone to let them know what the next steps should be.
In case everything is in order, the patient will be advised to take another ECG in 15 minutes, to confirm that.
In some cases, there will be some changes in the ECG that will require doctor's attention, but not immediately. The patient will be advised to make an appointment with their doctor at some point in the near future.
In a small portion of cases, the patient will actually be having a heart attack. This will trigger an immediate reaction from the call centre operator, who will alarm the emergency service and call for the ambulance vehicle to go to the patient's address. This fast reaction is critical for saving the patient's life and for preventing all the complications that occur if the treatment is provided outside the so-called golden hour.
Remote patient monitoring helps reduce cost by:
- lowering the number of (unnecessary) emergency vehicle dispatches and ER treatment
- lowering the number of physician checkups
- preventing health complications through fast reaction, thus shortening the hospital stay and lowering the rehospitalization rate