Despite all of the advancements in medicine and the technology that accompanies it, fears and social stigmas still prevent many people from getting the best care they possibly can.

One group who especially suffers in this regard is young women. Because of the outdated, yet somehow still-rampant, belief that young women should fit into a modest, unrealistically innocent mold, many young women live in fear of being judged for behaviors that, in reality, are entirely natural and well within their rights to explore.

That’s right, sex. Alcohol. Recreational drugs. Extreme sports. Young people, including those “should-be-modest” young ladies, want to take part in these things, and guess what? They do. Health-wise, these choices may not always be the soundest, and traditionalists certainly disapprove, but that doesn’t mean that these young adults shouldn’t get the medical care they need to live these lifestyles in the healthiest way possible and without fear of judgment or shame.

Telemedicine Means Breaking Former Limitations

Overcoming traditional thinking and shaming starts with the younger generations. Generation X-ers and millennials can’t expect to change the minds of their conservative family members overnight. In fact, they may never be able to change them. But they can shape a healthier, more tolerant future by supporting progression.

With regard to progressive health care, telemedicine is a big step in the right direction.

The term “telemedicine” has several running definitions, but put simply, it is the practice of medicine from a distance using communications technology. For example, a patient may hold a video conference call with a doctor in another state or a doctor’s office may consult with an international specialist by transmitting patient X-rays and vital signs, a practice that has become common during the Syrian Civil War, with whole surgeries taking place with instruction from foreign doctors over Skype.

Although telemedicine can’t completely replace in-person treatment, it does offer to patients a variety of benefits that were previously unheard of. Specifically, telemedicine allows patients to:

– Ask medical questions to professionals rather than relying on their own research
– Access and easily refill prescriptions
– Get help at any time, even when local doctors’ offices are closed
– Receive standard clinical services without having to leave their homes
– Be advised in real time as to whether they need to visit an emergency facility
– Save money on standard medical services
– Avoid the risk of judgment or inquiry from local residents

Telemedicine, as a result, is a big contributor to the medical revolution that has been underway for years. Whether a patient is concerned about a specific set of symptoms or simply has questions about contraceptives, telemedicine offers a discreet but effective solution.

Telemedicine Means Benefits for All Patients

One of the greatest benefits of telemedicine is its reach. It offers options to those living in remote locations, those with little access to advanced health care and those who don’t live near the specialists that they may need.

In addition, telemedicine has been proven to save patients money and to reduce unnecessary visits to the hospital — which in turn allows hospital doctors to focus their attention on patients with more pressing cases.

On top this, specialized telemedicine technologies are exploding left and right. Besides the more general telemedicine applications like Doctor On Demand and HealthTap, there are now more demographically focused apps like Maven, which specifically serves women’s health needs, and Maven Campus, which caters only to college women.

Along with these large-scale telemedicine apps, endless specialized tools are being developed to anticipate and keep up with doctor and patient demand. There are now apps that allow patients to monitor their own pulses, blood sugar levels, glucose levels and more.

All of these advancements allow the patient to do more for themselves without being overly reliant on a local doctor’s office. Largescale support of telemedicine technologies not only advances the progression of modern medical care, but also provides much-needed space for over-burdened facilities to deal with the most serious cases and enables them to cut costs in struggling departments.

Telemedicine Means Forward-Thinking Doctors

Of course, for any revolutionary concept to work, the people behind it must be open-minded and willing to adapt. For telemedicine, this means the doctors offering their services.

There’s a wide range of doctors involved in this field including pediatricians, gynecologists and a variety of specialists. Yet each of these doctors shares the same underlying belief: that every patient, regardless of their infliction, their background or their beliefs deserves the best medical care that can be offered.

This means that doctors understand the limitations many patients feel they have. For those who live in remote areas where health care options are limited and birth control is difficult to access, it’s important that to be able find a trustworthy doctor to prescribe the preemptive measures needed to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Doctors in support of telemedicine understand this need for unwavering support. That’s why apps offer easy-to-use prescription refills for sensitive medicines such as birth control.

Some of the doctors who work in telemedicine do so in addition to their usual work hours, while others work solely in telemedicine. In either case, these doctors believe in the progressive nature of the service, care about their patients’ well-being and confidentiality, and deserve fair payment for their services. The industry is currently working hard to establish regulations and compensation agreements that best suit this new method of care.

Telemedicine and the Future of Women’s Health Care

Although telemedicine isn’t a cure-all for every possible ailment, it is a progressive and ever-advancing service. It has opened the door for many to access healthcare services that were previously unavailable to them, particularly those living in remote or conservative areas.

The advancement of this technology will likely see some pushback over the coming years – is it safe? How can we regulate it to ensure this? How do we prevent fraudulent practices? However, the benefits that this new form of medical care offers will no doubt provide reassurance and hope to those who are in desperate need of a more modern outlook in regards to their physical and mental wellbeing.

Holly Whitman
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Copyright 2016 The Moderate Voice
  • Bob Munck

    Another extremely important factor that’s fast approaching: IBM’s Watson (A.I. that won Jeopardy). Within 10 years every GP (and most other specialities) will have a medical Watson running on their smartphone, relieving them of the need to do research and to keep a million facts accurate in their minds. Dr. Watson may also take over a great deal of the paperwork that doctors now spend so much time doing. It’s going to be YUGE!