Due to the Coronavirus pandemic that struck in 2019 and is still currently ever present, there have been many changes in the world. Some of these changes are good, some are bad. Luckily, social distancing and isolation has allowed for the advancement of a new invention called telemedicine.
Telemedicine has allowed for the democratization of healthcare. Because through telemedicine, patients are able to talk to medical professionals from the comfort of their own home instead of having to go into a doctor's office, this new technology is extremely accessible and convenient for the majority of the population of the United States. People are able to talk to doctors and healthcare workers regardless of their geography and location at the time of their appointment.
Advanced telemedicine technology has helped to bridge the gap between minority groups such as people of color and the rest of the population. Since before the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been widely known that Black, Indigenous, and Latinx American groups have a higher rate of educational and disease inequality. However, in addition, the pandemic has made it so that the mortality rate for minorities such as Black Americans is 2.3 times that of white Americans.
Luckily, telemedicine has done a lot to help these marginalized people of color by making medical appointments cheaper, easier to schedule, and just as helpful. In addition, telemedicine appointments help save time because there is no need for people to travel to their appointments. This also helps some of the lower income populations in the United States, especially those that have to travel far away from their homes to find a hospital and have to pay pricey fares to reach their destination.
Many of these telemedicine appointments also come with email, call, and text reminders to remind patients of their appointments. Also, these appointments can be taken from any device, even smartphones. Thus, people can access them from anywhere unlike in-person health care visits.
Virtual appointments are not the only form of telemedicine that have helped people access medical professionals. In addition, patients are able to just email their doctors as well to ask questions through several online telemedicine portals.
Some of the most advanced telemedicine providers include LemonAid, +WebDoctors, Sesame, and BetterHelp. Furthermore, there are many services provided by telemedicine companies besides virtual appointments. For instance, Streetwyze is an advanced telemedicine app that lets people take COVID-19 response initiatives to help increase public safety.
Overall, telemedicine has been extremely beneficial to many people, especially minorities like people of color and low income families. Of course, even telemedicine cannot do the same job as an in-person visit to the doctor in some cases. However, it is a start to a revolutionary change in medicine and health care that has significantly helped lower income and marginalized groups, especially since the start of the pandemic. Despite already helping to make a lot of progress in health care, telemedicine is continuing to grow and adapt. It will become even more advanced as time goes on and has the potential to do a lot of good in the world.