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New book outlines growing abilities of telehealth

JocelyneMONTREAL – By 2020, pundits predict that 25% of all healthcare could be delivered virtually. Telehealth applications and usage are both quickly growing, and recent surveys show impressive growth in telehealth adoption.

For example, the 4th edition of the Canadian Telehealth Report, launched in October 2015, shows significant increases in telehealth usage across Canada when compared to previous surveys. In particular, the number of telehealth sessions has increased by 47% over two years.

But these numbers represent only a small proportion of the number of face to face encounters that could be replaced by virtual encounters or teleconsultations.

The reality is that the general population may not necessarily know what telehealth can do for them. People are still travelling from afar for treatment or tests and waiting too long to see their doctors. Waiting rooms are full to capacity, yet follow-up care, consultations, tests and treatments are often available in or near your home.

The new book “What Telehealth Can Do For You,” by telehealth expert Dr. Jocelyne Picot, is meant to encourage readers to learn about, ask for and adopt telehealth where possible.

When combined with e-health, the result is that diagnosis and virtual care are effective and available almost anywhere. There is no longer any need:

• to wait in a waiting room where people are coughing and spluttering all around you. Instead, you can consult a healthcare professional from home using videoconferencing.

• to travel far for a special test or ongoing treatments; testing equipment can be brought to your community and the results sent to your doctor.

• to wait for weeks for test results from a specialist when results can be sent to your doctor over a secure network.

• to wait for a hospital bed – instead, the hospital will come to you. With telehealth equipment you can be tested, treated and cared for at home or near your home, and you can benefit from tele-nursing care.

Thanks to digital technology, images, vital signs and symptoms they can be recorded and securely transferred across reliable networks, whether for therapy, for chronic care or immediate attention in an emergency.

The book “What Telehealth Can do for You” informs the general public about the options that telehealth makes available. Examples of the use of digital technologies for emergencies, for monitoring, testing, transferring and recording data are provided.

Wireless, mobile and internet technologies are ushering in new dilemmas and questions which this new book addresses. For example, access to information about self-care, alternative medicine and new treatments.

“What Telehealth Can Do For You,” by Jocelyne Picot, published in 2015, is available in paperback from admin@infotelmed.ca or as an e-book from over 30 e-retailers across the world, including Amazon. For more information see www.infotelmed.ca.

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    This is undoubtedly reading of much interest as we find ourselves in a patient-centric new approach to healthcare based on technology. This is proving a right strategy when a larger percentage of the population is represented by older individuals; a burden the system cannot adequately respond to in volume and costs, other than to promote more information for patient empowerment. Dr. Picot’s book is instructive, important as it brings ‘an X-ray’ of what telehealth can do for you, and above all is enjoyable and fun to read.

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