Telecardiology is the application of telemedicine in the field of cardiology, and since its introduction, it has made large strides in improving how cardiovascular diseases are diagnosed and treated. Cardiovascular diseases have a very influential and negative impact on Americans’ health. More than 600,000 people die of heart disease every year, and 750,000 people experience a heart attack. In fact, cardiovascular diseases are one of the largest burdens on our healthcare system and heart disease is the leading cause of death in the country.
Telecardiology has many benefits for the medical world, in particular concerning cardiovascular disease and pediatric care. Utilizing telehealth services can improve the comfort and functional recovery of patients, aid cardiology experts in their productivity and communication, and promote life-saving efficiency when it comes to reaching a diagnosis and then implementing care. It also extends care to the rural areas of the country so those remote patients are able to receive necessary and life-saving services.
With telecardiology, lives can be saved through faster and more accurate diagnoses, care that is specialized to the situation, and detection that is now coming earlier than ever before. Here are four of the biggest reasons why medical practices should fully embrace telecardiology.
It Ensures People Living in Rural Areas Receive the Healthcare They Need
Research has shown that health disparities do indeed exist between rural and urban areas in the United States, and over 46 million Americans live in rural areas. These people are more likely to have health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and they have to wait a longer period of time to receive the type of care that people in urban areas receive immediately. Many patients end up having to travel to bigger cities in order to receive care for their conditions, which include carotid artery disease, in which their arteries become narrow or are blocked, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT), in which a blood clot forms within a vein that’s deep inside the body.
Telecardiology is beneficial for both patients and providers; it improves patients’ access to affordable and high quality healthcare, reduces cost, and increases satisfaction. For providers, they can be more engaged in their care, have more opportunity to network and engage with other professionals, they can expand opportunities for primary care, and save money and time on their end as well. If a medical practice uses telecardiology, cardiologists won’t have to travel and patients won’t have to leave for big cities; cardiologists can work remotely to interact with patients, and people can receive the care they need, right where they’re at.
It Improves Primary Care
Echocardiography, which is also known as an echo test, uses ultrasound waves to pick up images of your heart and study its movements. It’s a very useful tool for the diagnosis and management of cardiac arrhythmia and heart disease. Currently, it’s becoming more common to find echo tests available at the primary care level. This has two impacts–it facilitates early referrals to secondary care and sends people to the hospital when necessary in a faster and more efficient manner, and, it reduces unnecessary referrals when the situation is not so dire. Advancements in telecardiology have made echo testing more cost-effective, convenient, and accurate in the primary care setting. This ensures that serious cardiac conditions are not missed, and that people receive care that is adapted to their situation, which reduces cost for both patients and providers.
This is especially important for pediatric cardiologists, as echocardiograms that are performed on children and infants are integral aspects to their care and can help detect life-threatening diseases early on. The more accurate the testing, the better for the patient and the faster they can receive the care they need. Through telehealth services and digital echocardiography laboratories, physicians anywhere throughout the country can send echocardiograms of their patients to cardiologists at any time with any computer.
It Aids Productivity and Collaboration
Since telecardiology enables cardiologists to work remotely, they can now use video collaboration technology to consult with each other and make more informed decisions. These collaborations are conducted in a quick and efficient manner, and they don’t require each consultant to be physically present in the operating room.
Part of the problem that surrounds cardiovascular disease is that the number of people who suffer from it largely outnumber medical professionals who specialize in cardiology. With the amount of operations that are performed, it’s difficult for cardiac experts to be physically present in the room for each one. With telecardiology, however, they can use video conferencing and other telehealth services for collaboration between the cardiologist and the OR team.This saves working hours, gives physicians time to see more patients, and reduces the time that patients are under anesthetic in the OR.
It Helps Put Patients At Ease
For many cardiac patients, ease of use, mobility, and convenience are important aspects of their care, especially for pediatric patients. Telecardiology devices have helped with all of this, as they’re mobile and small, can easily be moved from room to room, and transferred within the community. This means that patients can receive care from their general practitioner and even within their own home. Telecardiology allows a convenient approach, and overall, it benefits healthcare providers as it improves patient compliance.
Through this mobility and convenience, awareness of chronic heart conditions has spread as well. More and more people are being educated on the symptoms of heart disease, the causes, and the risks, and eyes are being opened to how deeply cardiovascular diseases impact American people, especially in rural areas. Many people who were unaware before of the risks and implications have now received the medical education and care they need.
In telehealth services, telecardiology is a fast-growing field. Many studies are being conducted on how exactly it can improve healthcare. As time goes on, it’s becoming clear how the use of telecardiology can lower costs, improve quality of care, and in the end, save lives.