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The Benefits of Neonatal Telemedicine

Written by S.O.

Posted on October 2, 2015 at 7:30 am

The world faces immense challenges in providing quality medical services to people who live in remote locations and under-developed areas. The costs and manpower involved in setting up good hospitals in these locations is huge and unrealistic.

Doctors and experts have looked to modern communication technologies for a solution to this seemingly impossible and dire issue. Fortunately, the emerging field of telemedicine answers this call. The rapid advancement of technology has made it possible to consider telemedicine as a viable solution to the provision of neonatal care and basic healthcare services to children.

The World Health Organization defines telemedicine as, “The delivery of health care services, where distance is a critical factor, by all healthcare professionals using information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information”. 1

The Paradigm Changing Benefits of Telemedicine

Removes geographical barriers

The use of communication and information technologies bridges the distance between people and the best healthcare, a goal which could hardly have been dreamed of 100 years ago.

Provides access to expert help to low-trained health workers

Hospitals in remote areas are ill-equipped in terms of neonatal care; not only are the facilities not up to par, the healthcare providers, doctors, nurses, and other staff have poor training and often practice dangerous methods that end up harming the patient. Telemedicine creates unique and low-cost learning opportunities for these workers, allowing them to improve their skills in positively changing their patients’ well-being.

Enhanced communication can be used to collaborate with experts worldwide.

Combined decision-making regarding diagnosis and condition can become a norm which will lead to better research and greater future innovations.

Remote daily rounds are possible

Doctors can monitor the neonatal patients on a daily basis and quickly detect any issue before they worsen, this is vital for neonatal patients. Newborn patients are especially at risk of a late or wrong diagnosis which worsens the problem.

Frequent consultations with experts are possible

Patients can reap the benefits of expert medical care and the doctors treating them will also learn from this experience.

Direct visual and auditory patient information can be accessed by the doctors

Direct observation reduces the chance of a mistake; doctors don’t have to rely on someone else’s descriptions or reports.

Makes patient relocation unnecessary

Newborns do not need to be relocated for treatment. If the facilities are adequate then diagnosis is possible remotely and guidance can be provided on a case-to-case basis.

1. World Health Organization,. Telemedicine – Opportunities And Developments In Member States. Global Observatory for eHealth, 2011. Web. 18 Sept. 2015. Global Observatory For Ehealth Series – Volume 2.

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