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Thursday
Jul012010

Telehealth – What is it and do you need it?

In very simple terms Telehealth is the delivery of health-related services and information via telecommunications technologies. Such telecommunications technologies as kiosk, internet or website, SMS text messages, television or radio. Telehealth offers the health and medical professions a means to make health information available to a wider audience on a range of telecommunication media devices.

People and communities need information about health matters. Information is a powerful tool and getting valuable health information out to people helps to keep them safe and to protect them. With today’s internet society of silver surfers, social media communities and the younger generation growing up with keyboards in their mouths, it seems an obvious step for health information to be delivered to people in an electronic way. After all most of society are now organising their lives via telecommunication devices.

Telehealth Solutions can assist in improvement of patients’ health whilst at the same time reducing the cost of health delivery.

The obvious benefits of Telehealth is that people can opt for information to be sent to them at a fraction of the cost to the sender compared to sending information by post, or by telephone. Additionally, the process of Telehealth tends to also be a lot quicker. At the press of a button the information can be sent to multiple recipients. Of course making distributing information quicker and easier also saves monetary recourses.

The NHS has been quick to embrace telehealth solutions and has many internet and tech-based services which it provides to patients.  Those services and more can now be provided in the extended community – schools, libraries, leisure centres and other locations where people go.  By providing information in the community the NHS can save money by ensuring people look after their own health through living healthier lives.

Another advantage of telehealth is in the delivery of services for sexual and mental health patients.  Here, telehealth systems can provide services in an anonymous way using SMS texting and internet as the conduit for bi-directional information pathways.

Telehealth is also a green way to distribute information. In the past information leaflets would have been printed out for people to take to read. However, only a percentage of these leaflets would have actually have been read as intended. Some leaflets would have been given to pacify screaming babies in the waiting room, others used to jot down next appointment dates or local taxi phone numbers and so on. Invariably the leaflets would age and the information contained within them will be out of date.  

Having information available to read on an information kiosk or having the ability to email the information from the device to your own email address doesn’t cost the earth, and saves money longer term.

Touch screen internet kiosks can be used as part of a telehealth service to enable patients to access health services both within the NHS and within the community.  The touchscreens are becoming a familiar interface for the public to access a wide range of devices such as iPhones and many others.  The ease of use of the touchscreen kiosks makes them to be a fantastic way of engaging with patients.  The kiosks can provided access to information which is always up to date and relevant whilst provided a feedback path for patients to make enquiries or for the kiosk to provide an e-triage service.

In all, telehealth is an exciting development in healthcare and is sure to provide more interesting ways by which healthcare will be provided in the future.

About Kiosks4Business:
Kiosks4Business design and manufacturer touch screen kiosk solutions. If you would like to find out more about how Kiosks4Business Kiosks can help you deliver your services then please call us today 0845 451 2020 or visit our website.

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