What is telemedicine?
The definition of telemedicine is best given by breaking down the word into two parts:
Tele – Tele stands for teleconferencing, which is also known as video conferencing or video calling. This is the process of talking face-to-face in real-time via a video link.
Medicine – The practice of a diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of disease, illness, or injury.
Procedural telemedicine solution works by providing both the healthcare professional and patient with a means to video call. Online video consultation software enables patients to book an agreed time to meet a healthcare professional in a virtual environment.
How do telemedicine visits work?
The premise of telemedicine means there is no physical visit involved. The tele part of telemedicine means everything is conducted via teleconference.
A typical example looks like this:
The patient calls a GP surgery to request an appointment.
The receptionist and patient agree on a mutual time for a video call.
The receptionist sends a message with a click to click for a video call.
Patient joins via their unique secure link.
GP joins via a virtual meeting room from the virtual consultation calendar.
GP discusses symptoms and walks through any checks (like taking temperatures and testing flexibility).
Diagnose with video help like placing a phone on a chest to watch the breathing.
Refer to the next course of action like attending A&E or suggested over-the-counter medicine.
In the background, a video conferencing platform like Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams is powering the solution. These video conferencing systems enable real-time video meetings by transmitting real-time video from one point to another.
Using an internet connection and VoIP (Voice over IP) services, audio and video can be sent from a healthcare professional’s office to the comfort of a patient’s home.