Did you know that as of 2021, 37% of adults have used telemedicine in the last 12 months? The rise of telemedicine has been nonstop ever since the beginning of radio communication.
Technology has made telemedicine easier than ever before for both patients and medical professionals.
From Fantasy to Reality
In 1924, Radio News Magazine featured an illustration depicting a doctor giving a patient advice through a video call. While it would take nearly a century for that dream to come to fruition, the seed had been planted in the minds of medical professionals.
The first recorded example of telemedicine took place in 1940s Pennsylvania. Radiology images were sent 24 miles between townships by using a telephone line. It was a humble start, but it forever changed the world of medicine.
The 1960’s – Telemedicine Research & Funding Begins
By the 1960s, telemedicine became a practical way for people who lived in rural areas to get medical advice. Because the practice proved its practicality, the government began to take it seriously and began investing in funding and research for telemedicine.
One of the most successful government-funded projects was a partnership between the Indian Health Services and NASA. The project, called STARPAHC, provided native Americans on the Papago Indian Reservation and space-faring astronauts with access to medical care.
Fast Forward – Modern Day Telemedicine
Today, telemedicine has evolved tremendously and is used in ways that many people are unaware of.
Some great examples of modern telemedicine are smart watches and smart rings that can track an individual’s heart rate, sleep, and various other medical data. Such data relieves the workload on doctors, allowing them to focus on the most important aspects of their practice, such as creating solutions for their patients.
What was once a crazy idea has now become a reality that will forever change the medical world. Finally, doctors can give their patients medical advice and protocols via texting, emails, and video calls.
On a smaller scale, personal trainers and nutritionists can give their clients advice and feedback in real-time. They’re even able to guide people through their workouts and food choices.
Technology has made telemedicine easier and more convenient than ever before. Life has become much easier for doctors and other health-related professionals, allowing them to spend more time on what is most important in their work.
What will telemedicine look like 20 or even 100 years from now? The only limit to how it can be used is the imagination, and the medical world will continue to make the practice easier and more effective.
Products – Data Briefs – Number 445 – October 2022. (n.d.). https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db445.htm