Telemedicine during COVID-19 and the power of adaptation
Posted: 25th June 2021
One of the lessons we have learned this year is that everything is unpredictable. From surviving almost two years of a pandemic to working from home, seeing our loved ones pass, homeschooling our kids, or graduating virtually, it is certain that none of us would have expected any of this to happen.
However, despite all the changes that have taken place, here we are, progressively adapting to our new lives. There is a popular saying which states that “when life throws you lemons, you make lemonade”. And that is exactly what we did, we made our own personally crafted lemonade and adaptation was the perfect ingredient to cope with every challenge that was thrown at us.
One of the ways that we have adapted has been through the use of telemedicine, which has allowed many health specialists from across the world to find new ways to deliver quality services to their patients, even from a distance.
For those who are unfamiliar with this term, telemedicine consists of using communication platforms such as Zoom, Facetime, or Whatsapp to allow doctors to virtually track down the health and needs of their patients, provide diagnosis, and even prescribe medicines when needed.
Although telemedicine isn’t a totally new practice, it has gained immense popularity since the start of the pandemic, and for a large number of reasons. In fact, not only it has helped reduce,exposure to the Covid-19 virus by limiting patients’ visits to hospitals to strict necessity, but it has also helped cut down long waiting times , compensate for the shortage of hospital staff and material due to an overcrowding of Covid-19 positive patients, and allow those living in more disadvantaged and deserted locations to access healthcare services without having to incur outstanding travel costs.
One particular way I found telemedicine to be extremely helpful has been through the delivering of mental care services from afar. For many of us, the challenges that we have experienced this year were like no other, which unfortunately may have taken a big toll on our mental health, and affected the way in which we interact with colleagues, children, romantic partners, and even ourselves. Finding ways to stay grounded, develop stronger self awareness, and remain sane and positive has been a major prerequisite to our adaptation.
While for some of us, maintaining sanity was achieved individually, by doing activities such as meditation, sports or baking, for others this required the help of a professional. What makes this the most exciting is that with only one single link, an electronic device and a great internet connection, anyone could get the help they needed in a fraction of a second.
Telemedicine is a perfect example of the power of adaptation, and how it can allow us to better respond to our constantly changing world and diverging needs as humans.
Whether that means finding ways of cutting down long waiting times, limiting chances of exposure to a virus, or providing mental support and assistance to those in need, the biggest lesson we can learn from this is that as with everything in life, healthcare too requires ADAPTATION. Adaptation to the varied needs of patients, adaptation to the changes of our times, and adaptation to possibly anything that could undermine its efficiency and accessibility. And this is what Mi-Health is about!