Pediatric care is one of the most common fields in medicine. For this reason, scientists are constantly finding new ways to treat and manage diseases affecting patients under the age of 18. Although most parents prefer taking their children to the hospital for in-person visits, in some cases, like during the COVID-19 pandemic, pediatric telehealth would be the best option for care provision. The increasing advancements in medicine have shown the great potential of virtual care for pediatric health.
Covid-19 pandemic created a rise in virtual care. This strategy was a recommendation from the WHO guidelines, which recommended patients and caregivers maintain social distancing that would consequently reduce the spread of the virus.
As more people embraced virtual care, there was an increasing demand to improve infrastructure for telehealth. Computer analysts came up with new technology that would ensure a seamless connection between care providers and patients. These solutions are the future of telehealth:
Getting patients online
Many barriers are affecting the scalability of telehealth. Low-income families are the most affected when it comes to receiving adequate care. These underserved families do not have access to updated devices that allow for virtual visits. For this reason, medical institutions need to come up with solutions that accommodate families that lack the means to afford telehealth.
One of the main barriers to telehealth is the availability of internet access. Therefore, it might be a good idea for care providers to install Wi-Fi in institutions so that families without internet access can go online as long as they are within the vicinity of a connection.
Having access to the right technology is another challenge affecting families. Many care providers are coming up with solutions like offering chronically ill children intelligent devices to use during virtual visits. For this reason, most patients will have the means to schedule appointments and log in to see their doctors.
Although providing laptops and other smart devices like iPads helps, it is not enough to solve internet access problems. The most efficient way to get patients online is to distribute devices with reliable connectivity already embedded. Furthermore, the devices should be portable to screen-share and offer quality audio and visual components. These efforts will ensure that children get the care they need whenever they want.
Tech support plays a crucial role in getting patients online, especially since most children do not adequately use electronic devices. Although parental guidance is vital, medical institutions should develop focused efforts to help families understand the digital environment and thus improve their telehealth experience.
Tech support is an excellent way for care providers to assist families in accessing their appointments and reduce specific problems that might occur, like troubleshooting. Ultimately patients receive better outcomes and experiences.
Providing quality care
Many barriers affect the efficacy of telehealth in providing pediatric care. Even though care providers are finding new ways to improve the virtual experience and top management of health issues affecting children, specific disciplines struggle to receive adequate patient information online.
For example, your child will still need to go for in-person visits for examinations that require imaging tests like MRI. Although your doctor might not be able to replicate the clinical environment in all appointments, there are creative ways to ensure the efficacy of telemedicine in providing quality care.
Taking photos of problematic areas can help your primary care provider diagnose your child's health. Creatively shifting strategies will maximize telemedicine visits and ensure that children receive quality care.
Reducing the cost of care
Low-income families who struggle to pay for medical expenses might have a hard time accepting the shift to telemedicine due to fear of it being expensive. Care providers should try to make telehealth services affordable so that many families appreciate the convenience of telehealth and the affordability of care.
Software and hardware improvements will eliminate any barriers preventing maximum utilization of virtual visits. For this reason, the price tag associated with virtual visits will reduce significantly.
The implementation of telehealth in pediatric care may not be seamless, but commendable efforts will change things in this field of care and improve the health care experience. Balancing virtual and in-person visits is the future of pediatric care as it will provide efficiency, convenience and continuous support to help patients manage their conditions.
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