With the health sector placing increased emphasis on the telehealth industry, the rise of telecardiology comes as no surprise. Telehealth has opened numerous portals in the field of medicine, and telecardiology happens to be one of them.
Telecardiology is the need of the hour: unpredictable situations such as pandemics, aggressive weather conditions, remote locations, and political unrests can lead to an unprecedented delay in treatment.
Patients who struggle with heart disease more often need prompt healthcare delivery to prevent their conditions from deteriorating. Endocarditis, Arrhythmias, Atherosclerosis, strokes, chest pain, and hypertension are some of the examples of conditions that demand continuous and frequent hospital visits. Routine heart check-ups are also deemed necessary with growing age. With telecardiology, healthcare delivery can be made possible in a budget-friendly and sustainable manner.
Cardiac Care Meaning: What is Telecardiology?
Telecardiology refers to the monitoring of patients that carry an implantable medical device, such as a pacemaker, cardiac defibrillator, or a rhythmic holter.
This health model makes it possible to connect patients to healthcare providers all over the world, regardless of their location. Most telecardiology teams on a hospital staff have an established system of co-workers who help them manage these patients globally.
Telecardiology involves the diagnosis of cardiac diseases, including Myocardial infarction, Congenital heart disease, and Coronary artery disease. This medium also offers suitable treatment modalities for such diseases. The entire procedure is carried out remotely via videoconferencing.
How Telecardiology Has Transformed the Healthcare Space
About 80,500 people have a heart attack every year in the United States alone, and about 1 in 5 heart attacks occur without the patient being aware of the situation. If we take Europe into perspective, the deaths of 50% of their population occur due to cardiovascular diseases. These are huge numbers that indicate the need to address heart health as an utmost priority.
With the onset of the pandemic, hospitals became flooded with patients suffering from COVID-19. Patients struggling with heart diseases, or any other condition for that matter, became second priority. It was during this time that realization of the need for a sustainable health model became evident.
Telehealth cardiac rehabilitation caters to the needs of patients everywhere, even in rural and inaccessible areas. Additionally, it offers healthcare workers an essential breather and allows them to work at their own pace. The telecardiology model for healthcare is empiric; it has served numerous patients over the course of the pandemic, and healthcare providers are constantly rectifying past errors and mistakes to convert this into a robust system.
Overall, telecardiology can help to save time, money, and a great deal of energy for geriatric patients. It is the emerging face of modern healthcare.
How Telecardiology Works in a Hospital Setting
Initially, a hospital or lab visit would be necessary to carry out required investigations like blood tests, ECGs, and general physical examinations.
Doctors take these tests into account after they are saved in the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system. From there, the patient can consult their healthcare provider from the comfort of their homes, through a hassle-free online video conferencing system. Healthcare providers can also access their patients’ records in one place and monitor their symptoms virtually. Any prescriptions or treatments would be relayed on call.
Furthermore, the patient would be informed about future appointments via SMS or email. Depending on the progress and state of the patient’s heart condition, a few physical appointments may be deemed necessary.
How is Telecardiology Strengthening Pediatric and Primary Care?
Primary care focuses on the prevention, promotion, and rehabilitation of diseases. With telecardiology, primary and pediatric care has significantly improved.
Let’s dig into an example to justify the statement above. The echocardiogram is a test that picks up ultrasonic waves coming from the heart, helping doctors study the rhythmicity of the heart. The Echocardiogram can also be used to diagnose Arrhythmias and other heart diseases.
An echocardiogram is of utmost importance in pediatric healthcare, especially with its effectiveness in diagnosing and promptly treating heart diseases in children before they progress.
Telecardiology emphasizes the need for these echo tests. Therefore, they are now being offered on a much wider scale. These echocardiograms can be electronically mailed to any specialist in the world to ensure accurate and rapid detection of heart diseases. Telecardiology is making these lab investigations cost-effective and convenient, thus encouraging more sectors to accommodate such testing services at the primary level of healthcare.
Benefits of Telecardiology for Patients and Cardiologists
Telecardiology bridges the gap between primary and secondary care. Relying on the use of technology is the only sensible approach to tackling environmental issues while satisfying patients’ needs. There are numerous benefits of telecardiology, explaining why many healthcare systems are rapidly inclining towards it.
1. Reduces Hospital Transfers
Not every district or town has a tertiary hospital to address complicated healthcare concerns. This increases the number of hospital transfers, especially for people suffering from serious heart diseases. Patients have to cover their own travel costs to a distant tertiary hospital on top of the treatment they receive.
With telecardiology, it can take as little as one appointment to determine whether or not the patient can be managed virtually, thus attenuating the dilemma of hospital transfers.
2. Increase Access to Premium Healthcare Delivery for Cardiac Patients
Patients living in rural or remote areas usually rely on general practitioners for their heart health, since heart specialists may be sparse in such areas. With telecardiology, they can receive access to the expertise of cardiologists that have served decades in the field.
Community hospitals can become heavily flooded with patients, inconveniencing patients by forcing them to spend considerable amounts of time waiting their turn. With heart diseases, prompt diagnosis and time are of the essence. Telecardiology can reduce wait times and helps to provide faster consultations.
This study concluded that telecardiology models deliver similar results for patients suffering from heart failure as face-to-face appointments.
3. Create Uniform Healthcare Accessibility to Larger Populations
It is the right of every citizen to obtain standard and quality healthcare. Thanks to telecardiology, patients can connect to their cardiologists regardless of their location. This is an essential aspect of providing quality healthcare to all citizens regardless of their circumstances, especially those who are restricted to rural communities and remote locations.
4. Encourages Effective Collaboration of Cardiologists Worldwide
Patients suffering from heart diseases outweigh the number of available cardiologists. With most cardiologists serving a bulk of their working hours in the operation theater, they often have little time to share their expertise and opinions for an effective collaboration worldwide.
Through video conferencing, cardiologists from all over the world can bring their clinical advice to the table without having to be physically present in the operating room. This further equips physicians and healthcare professionals to make informed decisions about heart conditions in a virtual setting.
Cardiologists can also use telecardiology to discuss and display their medical cases virtually in real-time. The power of technology unites cardiologists to join hands and develop innovative solutions and treatments for heart diseases.
5. Makes Cardiac Healthcare More Affordable and Convenient
Cardiac treatments and medicines are costly, and the addition of daily commute costs can add to the billing. Doctor’s visits demand a patient to invest not just money, but time and energy as well.
Many cardiac diseases happen to take the chronic route, from Atherosclerosis to hypertension. They demand frequent appointments with a cardiologist, which can stress the patient who is already struggling with the disease.
Telecardiology eliminates travel costs and saves energy, ultimately downsizing healthcare costs and upscaling comfort levels for the patient.
6. Encourage Smooth Triage and Relieves the Burden on Healthcare Providers
With fewer patients making hospital visits and more resorting to the telecardiology model, healthcare providers feel at ease managing their patients.
In a study conducted in 2019, it was found that a larger cardiologist per cardiovascular bed ratio in the hospital had lower 30-day mortality for heart failure patients. This strengthens the need for a system that would allow more doctors to focus on emergency patients without becoming overburdened.
When the hospital becomes flooded with patients, telecardiology would drastically reduce the imbalanced doctor-to-patient ratio that often results in mismanagement and havoc within the hospital premises. That, as well as, the workload it ensues upon the valuable and esteemed healthcare force.
7. Increases Patient Satisfaction
There’s a lot that Telecardiology has to offer in terms of patient satisfaction. Patients can make appointments without compromising their work schedules. Furthermore, the reduced wait times with telehealth is a significant perk for the patients.
Through retrospective studies, telehealth has boasted high patient satisfaction rates. In this particular study, 47.4% of patients were satisfied with telehealth services. These patients also developed good rapport and trust with their designated healthcare providers.
Telecardiology from the Healthcare Business Perspective
While the telecardiology model facilitates patients, it also opens up promising business portals for investors in the healthcare field. Ever since the idea of telemedicine became prevalent in the industry, healthcare providers have encouraged its implementation for the sake of a reliable healthcare system.
Decreases Locum Tenens and Recruitment Expenses
Locum tenens is the term used to describe physicians who temporarily fulfill the duty of another. The objective of locum tenens is to reduce the workload and stress burdens on the permanent physician faculty that spends long exhausting hours delivering healthcare.
Telecardiology bypasses the need for locum tenens, as this model is designed to relieve doctors by reducing patient flow to the hospitals. Therefore, it caters to fewer recruitments and contributes to more time and cost savings.
Potential Revenue Growth
The generation of profitable revenue is critical for any industry to survive, and telemedicine is attracting more investors due to its promising capital generation.
Telecardiology models mainly rely on sustainable technology, including telehealth applications and video conferencing tools. These are tools that usually require a one-time investment and occasional rounds of maintenance.
Patients who struggle with chronic heart diseases require frequent appointments and continuous monitoring. These patients are referred to as retentive patients, meaning that they become their main revenue generators.
Decreases Average Length of Stay (ALOS) in Hospitals
An ALOS is the average number of days a patient spends in the hospital. With the use of telecardiology, the ALOS at a hospital is expected to decrease as patients resort to virtual care after their first physical appointment. This reduces the burdens on the hospital while strengthening the revenue of their telecardiology system.
Trapollo’s Cost-Effective Solutions for Cardiovascular Concerns
Technology is the way forward in telemedicine and telecardiology. Digitization and technology have brought the world closer together, bridging gaps that proved to be pivotal in the midst of the pandemic.
To exercise the use of the telecardiology model, healthcare providers can resort to our reliable and advanced Remote Patient Monitoring that has graced the industry for over a decade. RPM would facilitate the frequent monitoring of heart diseases virtually; it would also involve an exchange of the patient’s tests and vitals.
How Trapollo’s Congestive Heart Failure RPM Solution Enhances Telecardiology
Trapollo also offers a comprehensive RPM solution for patients with congestive heart failure.
Our technology focuses on external devices used to monitor heart health, including blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters, and weight scales. These devices supplement telecardiology patients by monitoring risk factors inaccessible via their implantable devices. They also offer essential services for patients with congestive heart failure lacking an implantable device.
Our CHF solution records blood pressure, weight, or any other risk factors for congestive heart failure. This highly specialized platform is equipped with technologically-influenced, robust tools to ensure that healthcare workers do not face any inconvenience in cardiac healthcare delivery.
Combined with telecardiology, our remote patient monitoring offers a comprehensive approach for patients of congestive heart failure.
Additional Solutions for Telecardiology Patients
Trapollo’s suite of connected health solutions for telecardiology patients expands beyond remote patient monitoring for patients with congestive heart failure.
Our BYOD solution has served an exceptional role in limiting hospital visits and encouraging patients to access virtual healthcare for their heart conditions while steering clear of the novel Coronavirus.
As leaders in connected health, we understand that many cardiac diseases tend to partake in chronicity. Our Chronic Disease Management solution premium healthcare access via the Internet of Things (IoT) advancement.
To address a broad range of conditions and acuity levels, Trapollo has also mastered the delivery of Hospital in Home. This reform is direly needed during this time. Why? It allows patients to receive treatments via a cloud-enabled home health monitoring system.
Trapollo also offers premium Healthcare Logistics & Support services to cater to the maintenance, shipping, recovery, cleaning, and deployment of all the medical devices on your behalf.
Telecardiology is the face of the coming future, and Trapollo is playing a substantial role in helping it become a recognized system in healthcare.