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How does Telemedicine improve patient care for rural areas?

Posted by Alden Hui on April 10, 2019
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There is a growing divide between the healthcare that urban and rural areas receive. Communities in rural areas often struggle to find adequate and timely solutions to their healthcare needs. Telemedicine has been helping to reverse this trend in recent years. Through digital channels like your mobile device or computer, telemedicine allows people living in these areas to connect with a wide range of medical professionals and receive high quality care.

Thanks to advances in telehealth, services like these are now available in rural areas:

  • Remote patient monitoring (RPM), especially for home monitoring of elderly populations
  • Storage and forwarding of medical information to physical providers and also for online check ups
  • Online therapy and remote counselling

What is telemedicine?

Simply put, telemedicine allows users to quickly access medical care with a qualified professional through any form of digital communication such as mobile video chat.

Telemedicine is defined as "the use of telecommunication to provide clinical health care from a distance." It provides greater access to healthcare for all users, however, it's not limited only to those who live far away from a clinic. It can also benefit a busy urban worker. 

Who does it benefit?

While telemedicine is particularly beneficial to rural patients, the online service is available to anyone. All it takes is internet access and a subscription to a telemedicine platform. Telemedicine systems are built to prevent long wait times for simple cases. The key is convenience. 

What does telemedicine treat? 

Telemedicine is used to treat common symptoms like colds and flu (fever, nasal congestion, and sinus pain) infections, allergies, arthritic pain, asthma, travel health, breastfeeding support, insect bites, rashes, UTIs, minor injuries, mental health, and more. Typically, anything that is easily treatable and doesn't require in-person procedures. 

Note: Telemedicine should not be used for medical emergencies. Consult the ER or call 911 if you have severe conditions. 

Scope of Practice Telemedicine

What else can telemedicine treat?

Mental health. 

Let's look at an example. You have a busy schedule, being the owner and sole employee of a small farming operation. You hours extend past the regular 9-5. Recently, a close relative passed away unexpectedly. As a result, you have been having issues focusing at work. You don't feel like visiting a therapist because it is inconvenient and expensive, as well as the stigma attached to it. The topic dwells on your mind all day and for the rest of the week. With telemedicine, you can quickly take a video call with a qualified medical professional or chat with a nurse. In just a few minutes, you can consult and get qualified advice on the matter at hand. You finish the call feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day. After the consultation, medical staff will ensure appropriate follow-up with all the resources you need. If a follow up is necessary, don't worry, your information is saved so you can pick back up where you last ended.

Medical professionals at the touch of your fingertips!

Are you a small business owner?

Olympia has teamed up with Dialogue to provide an all-in-one medical package for incorporated small business owners. This includes mom and pop shop business owners that are incorporated or companies with arm's length employees

Introducing the Olympia HSA Deluxe:

  • Dialogue Telemedicine Services - get access to and receive treatment from medical professionals all through your mobile device
  • Health Spending Account - a cost-effective alternative to health insurance to reduce the taxes on your medical expenses
  • Travel Medical Insurance
  • Catastrophic Drug Insurance
  • Emergency Medical Insurance

How does telemedicine benefit you... and your business?

Access to healthcare even when working remotely or travelling within Canada

Peace of mind knowing that you are protected. 

Lower drug costs

Save time and money by having prescription drugs shipped (for free) to you. Eliminate lengthy prescription renewal processes. 

Promotes Work-Life Balance

Work-Life Balance is a crucial factor in today's workplace. Health coverage and virtual healthcare go hand in hand with it. Instead of arranging your schedule around your health, let these appointments fit your schedule. 

Can you explain a bit more about the Olympia plans?

Olympia has partnered with Dialogue to offer two exclusive options:

1. The HSA Deluxe is an all inclusive plan for a self employed workers / contractor. This plan includes a Health Spending Account, 3 insurance plans, and access for up to 2 employees (owner and spouse) to the Dialogue virtual healthcare platform. Dependents are included.

2. Existing clients with the HSA Group plan can implement Dialogue Telemedicine for their employees by completing a form in My Olympia.  

What makes Dialogue better than the rest?

Dialogue is a secure and leading virtual healthcare service with one of, if not, the largest number of active medical professionals. It uses proprietary technology that continuously improves based on client and patient feedback. On top of that, many other telemedicine services do not offer pricing for 1-10 businesses. Most require a minimum of 20 employees.

Learn more about the Deluxe plan with telemedicine services for a small business:

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Continue your reading on telemedicine:

How does Telemedicine work for a small business?

 

Topics: telemedicine, HSA Deluxe, dialogue