Like any other form of science, telemedicine has its own advantages and disadvantages. However, telemedicine is a wonderful tool that can help some millions of people with varied health problems.
Some of the advantages of telemedicine are that it brings the worldwide expertise at your door step. There are several able doctors who are located across the world and most people do not get access to them because of the distance. Telemedicine can easily solve this problem. Also we are not capable of knowing all the medical problems and there are different kinds of diseases with different symptoms that can occur in anyone across the world. Exposure to such symptoms and diseases can become easy with the use of telemedicine and it allows the diagnosis period to be cut short. Telemedicine is also very helpful for military personnel who are stationed at remote areas.
The disadvantages of telemedicine are that it takes away the one on one interaction which is very beneficial in psychiatric consultations. It also gives birth to legal complications and the code of discretion with patient information may not be kept recluse in the telemedicine environment. The dangers of leaking out personal information are high and especially when it becomes available for everyone. Because of the lack of proper security, doctors will only be inviting more malpractice and legal law suits. Another risk is depending on the information provided by the telemedicine channel. Some of the information may be dependable and others might not be.
Another negative aspect of telemedicine is the cost. Many industry experts believe that it is more cost effective however the fact of the matter is that as of now it is very expensive. The usage of telemedicine depends on several outside factors that are not in the control of the medical industry nor the user itself. Limits on services that qualify for insurance coverage, state licensure laws, potential malpractice liability, and privacy and security concerns are just a few of the issues impacting telemedicine.
The federal laws related to insurance are much different and several of them do not agree or sometimes come in the way of usage of telemedicine. Unless all such loop holes are removed and an effective plan is put in place the effectiveness of telemedicine cannot be seen. Any system that is meant for a patient should be easy to use and it should not cause them trouble after having used it. Right now this is what is happening to the telemedicine industry exactly.
Also, the costs of telemedicine vary from one end of the spectrum to another and it makes it very unreliable as of now. Every single factor influencing the cost varies which makes it a highly unsteady technology to use. There are several factors like deductibles and co pays which have an overall impact on the total cost. If these vary and add exponentially without the patient having a clue, it gives a bad impression on the whole. Instead of starting to believe in it, people are actually losing faith. It also becomes very confusing to deal with such a concept eventually for the patients.