One of the major challenges in the healthcare industry is its reach into the rural areas. Even though people there might have limited or no access to healthcare, the problem persists due to the quality of healthcare service received. The fastest and easiest solution to this problem is Telemedicine.
Telemedicine brings along various benefits like ease of access, timely assistance, quality healthcare, better options, etc. The shift has already begun and people in rural areas are gradually realizing the potential and benefits of telemedicine.
Telemedicine services need to become more flexible and accessible to cater to each and every need of these people. Telemedicine solutions can benefit the rural population that is suffering from chronic diseases, movement disabilities, mental disorders, long term care requirements and those who have language barriers the most. But it is already proving a great solution for the women of rural areas. Let us take a look at how this is possible.
The women of rural areas face a lot of time issues. They are the ones generally to bear the burden of house chores in addition to any other work that they might be undertaking.
Telemedicine brings to them quality healthcare that they need at home or within range at local clinics. It saves them the time of travelling to a city to access the similar care as well as eliminates the wait time that they might undergo in the waiting rooms of clinics, hospitals.
It also eradicates the hassle of moving around a big healthcare facility trying to figure out the process to access required care. Also, the cost they save from the travel helps them financially and leads to a better economic stability of the region.
Secondly, the women of rural areas go through a lot of social stigma. Telemedicine services help these women overcome social hindrances that limit their access to healthcare services. For example, women might not want to see doctors, especially male gynecologists or male doctors in general for their health conditions. Many rural areas around the world impose various social conditions on women.
There is less importance given to women’s post pregnancy care and not to mention prenatal care. Telemedicine can help in such situations where women can consult with doctors as and when there is a need. The same applies to mental disorders and sexual wellness problems as well.
It is obvious that when healthcare access becomes easy and accessible, there will be a direct corelation to women staying healthier and happier. The patient engagement rate increases and user satisfaction is higher than usual. There is a direct impact to quality of life.
Thirdly, women from rural areas might not have enough options to consider from when they want a healthcare service or even just a second opinion. Additionally, they might not have access to specialists they need to consult with, in their locality, region or even district. Virtual healthcare is the best solution to this as it eliminates any geological boundaries for patients and they can access doctors from anywhere within a country or state.
Next, it is a widely accepted fact that hygiene is a major issue in the rural sector; rural areas have a higher percentage of unhealthy behavior’s. Healthcare infrastructure is no different in these places. Telemedicine also bypasses the unhygienic and cleanliness factors in many ways.
Lastly, for women who are undergoing long term care, like pregnant women, women with thyroid issues, etc., it is difficult to reach out to doctors every time they need support. This might lead to degradation of condition or even diseases to reach critical conditions. Constant monitoring of their vitals becomes difficult and if they feel a need to alter or change prescription or even just go for a regular check-up.
Telemedicine makes all of the above easy to do. From monitoring vitals to refilling prescriptions or changing them as and when needed, it brings in the constant care required for women, when ailing with the above-mentioned health conditions. This is also applicable to geriatric women.
Telemedicine also helps remind and monitor whether a patient is taking their course of doses on time and prevents errors with medication.
We now have a solution to address the healthcare needs of women in every rural area at once. Telemedicine has just started to penetrate the populace of the world. As and when people realize the significant benefits it brings to the healthcare industry, it will gain traction, improving the healthcare landscape.
Awareness is the key here and all of us have to do our part in it. It is facing challenges aplenty already, overcoming them will not be either easy or quick, but with better service providers and quality service, it can be the boon it is meant to be for the healthcare industry.