Telemedicine: Everything You Need To Know About Online Medical Consultations

Telemedicine is as old as communication between people.

The first health problems at a distance were solved by various types of letters.

Then – with the advent of the telephone – distance treatment and diagnosis became easier and certainly faster.

Already at the end of the nineteenth century, many doctors and patients placed great hopes in this modern form of communication.

Modern for those times.

But over a hundred years after the invention of the phone, the public internet appeared, and this caused telemedicine to explode. Online clinics, online doctors, online prescriptions …

It all became available.

But if you have a bit of skepticism in you, I’m sure you will ask yourself the question: is there a doctor in online clinics?

Innocent beginnings: where did telemedicine come from?

In practice, telemedicine is distance medicine; it allows for communication between the patient and the doctor at a distance and diagnosing diseases without the need for personal contact.

The basic element of the diagnosis, i.e. the patient’s interview, is usually carried out using a medical form, telephone conversation or video call.

The patient – just like during a visit to the office – answers the doctor’s questions that allow him to better determine his state of health and diagnose the problem with which he came.

Technological progress allows telemedicine for precise remote diagnosis.

The ability to send health data via peripherals that the patient has at home gives the doctor an even better picture of the patient’s health.

Various types of medical accessories, from pulse and pressure measuring bands to connecting vital signs monitoring devices, can send data remotely – from patient to doctor.

Even if they are at two ends of the world (as it turns out – even further).

Thanks to this, it is possible not only to diagnose remotely but also to care for patients and monitor their health.

A brief history of telemedicine, i.e. from letters to remote operations

The first applications of medicine are as old as distance communication between people.

However, the real revolution was the invention of the telephone.

The first mention of telemedicine solutions appeared in the world-renowned medical journal The Lancet in 1879 – the anonymous author reported in it the case of diagnosing a child over the phone.

Further development of telemedicine took place only in the era of spaceflight.

Ground service had to somehow monitor the health of astronauts – current technology did not offer any such solutions.

Among other things, that’s why work began on a remote diagnosis system – only a few hundred thousand kilometers.

At the same time, work was also carried out on the development of civil telemedicine.

At the end of the 1960s, the world not only sent people to the moon but also meant that many patients could count on medical assistance at a distance.

Telemedicine at that time was mainly developed in the United States – large sums were allocated for this purpose, thanks to which access to medical care in inaccessible areas of the country was improved.

In the 1970s and 1980s, telemedicine grounded its position and confirmed its usefulness.

The real telemedicine revolution came with the advent of the internet in the early 1990s.

The possibility of conducting video transmission, supplementing interactive forms or connecting peripheral devices meant that the possibilities of remote diagnosis and treatment increased.

Also, the law went hand in hand with telemedicine – increasingly friendly legislation or the development of common tools that ensure security and, at the same time, the highest quality of services.

Recent years have brought intensive development of such services as teleconsultations (online prescriptions), teleradiology, telecare, telerehabilitation and telecardiology (ECG by telephone).