Telehealth and the COVID-19 pandemic
Social distancing and many other major measures are being adopted to combat the pandemic, and telehealth is stepping to the forefront of the battle, it is key for safe and efficient communications. Recently, The World Health Organization (WHO) named telemedicine as one of the essential services in “strengthening the Health Systems Response to COVID-19” policy. A new WHO policy states that telemedicine should be one of the alternative models for clinical services and clinical decision support. Remote health services can serve many benefits, with the largest being the protection of health workers. Around a third of physicians are 55 years old or over. The healthcare professionals on the front line of the fight are the most vulnerable, therefore telemedicine and telehealth can massively benefit these workers by protecting them from this deadly virus, along with the already proven benefits.
Telehealth can directly aid with flattening the curve of demand on healthcare systems internationally, slowing down the transmission of the coronavirus and spreading incidence over a longer time period. Nearly all telehealth providers have already faced a large increase in the demand for their services. Telehealth can be very useful for those who have presented COVID-19 symptoms and therefore have to self isolate, it would allow for them to get access to the help that they require without leaving their home. It will also be useful for the most vulnerable in our society who may be shielding/
As many large companies and hospitals are suffering from cyber attacks, cybersecurity is a worry for many people, therefore the secure exchange and storage of telehealth data is one of the main priorities for everyone. Whilst no technology solution is perfect, the benefits that telehealth will provide in the fight against the Coronavirus is unmatched.
How you can slow the spread of coronavirus:
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards