Telemedicine and e-health services are the most important buzzwords related to healthcare and e-commerce, which are currently taking the world by storm. These terms started doing the rounds about two decades ago when they first started to gain popularity among the citizens. Gradually, with new technological developments, they evolved and expanded from their predecessors to become household terms that have greatly benefited both consumers and businesses alike. The most basic connotation for telemedicine and e-health is related to the technology, medicine and healthcare nexus.
E-health is a versatile term that has about 51 interpretations; delivery of health services through an electronic/digital medium for educational, clinical and regulatory purposes remains its essence.
Telemedicine refers to the diagnosis and treatment of any health disorder through telecommunication. They are two closely intertwined terms that have changed the perception of healthcare and revolutionized traditional health practices all over the world.
Gone is the time, when a health issue meant a visit to the family doctor. It is no longer mandatory to visit a specialist for each and every test that we need to get done or to get their reports checked as healthcare practices and services have been brought to our doorstep, (or if I may say, to our fingertips) by telemedicine and e-health solutions.
App-based digital platforms that connect doctors and patients from across continents, management of health and health-related services, delivery of services to hospitals and health insurance companies are the key features of telemedicine and e-health services which have many more services under their individual banner.
The mode of operation may be B2B (Business to Business), B2C (Business to Consumer), and C2C (Consumer to Consumer) as telemedicine and e-health services cater to both consumers (that includes us) and businesses (like hospitals, insurance companies and healthcare solution resellers). They constitute a booming industry which is estimated to reach a net worth of $308billion by 2022.
A consumer-centric approach which includes empowerment of patients by letting them take control of their own health, equitable solutions for all health related issues and delivery of top-class health services have helped telemedicine and e-health services to gain a strong foothold in the healthcare sector.