Opinion: Telematic medicine becomes the great ally of the health sector to speed up consultations during the pandemic

COVID-19 has accelerated progress in the digital transformation processes of the health sector, the advances expected in 3 years have happened in 3 months.

According to the third edition of the Aegon Health and Lifestyle study, 7 out of 10 telemedicine users declare that it has been very useful to them.

Due to COVID-19, all sectors have been forced to accelerate their digitization and the health sector could not be left behind. With health centers pouring most of their resources into containing the pandemic, the sector has been forced to look for alternatives so as not to stop treating all other pathologies and has found its great ally in telemedicine.

Telemedicine is not a novelty, although it was experiencing a very slow incorporation in the sector: COVID-19 has focused on the need to bet on it and its implementation has been accelerated. The advances that were expected in 3 years have happened in 3 months.

“These advances offer the possibility of managing hospitals, health centers and patients more efficiently, as well as investigating new diseases, such as COVID-19, in order to offer an early detection and more specific care, minimizing damage in the patient and contagions “, stand out from ASHO, a leading company in hospital advice and clinical coding in Spain.

The technology has played a fundamental role in managing the health crisis. Virtual consultations, by phone, results online or remote patient follow-up have become a reality and have all the numbers to stay once the crisis passes, since they have brought many benefits to the sector and have proven to be effective, improving the management, reducing lists and waiting time, avoiding unnecessary travel and reducing bureaucracy.

However, specialists warn that, although it is effective in many cases, telematic medicine is not good for everything and they claim to put order to this clinical practice, set limits and provide it with more resources for infrastructures and training of professionals in digital skills.

The use of telemedicine during the pandemic

In the third edition of Aegon Health and Lifestyle Study, which focuses on the analysis of the state of health, lifestyle, habits and behaviors related to the health of Spaniards, it can be seen reflected that one in three respondents claim to have used telemedicine during the pandemic. What’s more 7 out of 10 telemedicine users declare that it has been very useful. Telematics medicine has opened the way to leave behind long procedures that make the patient uncomfortable and delay the doctor. It has been found that many of the operations that were carried out were not necessary and that the use of complementary telematic means results in greater efficiency in the sector.

In fact, according to Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (semFYC), GPs, during the pandemic, performed an average of 32 medical acts through telemedicine and reduced to just a dozen the number of patients who were attended in person. In this context, ASHO shows that “This process made it easier for patients who really needed face-to-face care to be treated more quickly and with greater medical care, since other pathologies did not cease to exist in times of COVID-19”.

Technological advances have been essential for the development and good management of the pandemic. In particular, telematic medicine has made the whole sector, patients, health professionals and managers, benefit. It is a long process, with many challenges and challenges in which much remains to be done for the digital transformation to be fully implemented in the healthcare sector. Technological advances, together with the collaboration of society and the pandemic, have proven to be key to giving life to the golden age of digital health.

About ASHO

ASHO, as a leading company in healthcare coding, currently manages more than 85 projects throughout Spain and codifies around 600,000 registrations per year. With a 47% market share, the company specializes in offering value-added services in hospital information systems that facilitate the management and work of clinical professionals. Since its inception 26 years ago, it has encoded more than 8 million registrations, concentrating 2.5 million in the last five years.

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