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Published On: Thu, Sep 17th, 2020

The plausible effects of Covid-19 and the rapid shift towards telemedicine

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By Udeze Daniel Jr

The COVID-19 pandemic set off an accelerated shift to virtual communication in nearly every forum in which humans interact and, similarly, the medical device sector is also embracing the virtual world and will perhaps continue to do so long after the COVID crisis abates. The rapid shift toward telemedicine in response to COVID-19 safety recommendations will stick long after the pandemic is over. Artificial intelligence and machine-learning models are helping diagnose skin cancer from iPhone apps and the likes while cologuard continue to aid people to test themselves for colon cancer.
As health technology develops innovative solutions that can easily connect patients with doctors and other stakeholders such as pharmacy, lab, etc. It is also helping to lower costs for everybody. It’s a chance to share information with your primary care physician that can be imparted on to a specialist if need be. Physicians can as well monitor these patients from home with pulse measures and blood pressure with the right equipment. It can all be done remotely.
Lately, most Nigerians were under a complete lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus outbreak making it tasking for people to leave their homes at such times, it became even more difficult for people to get in touch with a doctor. However, there are new med-tech solutions that are being employed to help patients get easier access to medical services. These solutions are key to administering medical services to patients and improving the quality of treatment they receive as a physician can simply establish a new patient in his practice over the telephone helping minimize the number of people in waiting rooms, which, of course, will minimize the spread of dangerous diseases as well as flu and other contagious infections.
The future of telemedicine is even more exciting with GoDigi Care which is building more technologies and solutions that will empower people to get diagnoses and treatment faster and more easily than ever. The GoDigi care health technology solution is helping people take preventive action on potentially dangerous health issues they would not have known about.
The most widely visible benefits of GoDigi is being able to deliver health care to patients across geographical distance. Since the majority of health care resources (and specialties) are located in large urban centres while patients living in small urban and rural areas do not have the same level of access. This has meant that patients must travel long distances, usually at their own expense, or forego getting health care. With GoDigi Care, the provider and patient can converse regardless of where the two are. The application of the GoDigi health tech solution is also being used for patients living in urban centres who may have mobility issues making it a challenge to get out of their homes to receive health care.
By further providing care to patients in their homes and communities, GoDigi services also help reduce the need for patients with infections and/or compromised immune systems from going to a clinic or hospital, and thereby reduce the spread of certain infections.
The use of GoDigi’s services provides a sense of confidentiality and anonymity. This has been particularly true in mental health counseling and certain areas of adolescent health. The use of such technological framework allows the patient to avoid feeling uncomfortable walking into a clinic. Some may be concerned with being seen while others may just not be comfortable in that setting. Also, some people are better able to open up about their situation when using digital service infrastructure as a face-to-face visit may be more intimidating.
As innovations and health technology solutions continue to soar with speedy advancements in several areas such as patient symptom monitoring and automated data collection which increases the potential benefit of using telehealth framework helping in the reduction of greenhouse gas. As patient travel records a reduction, there is a potential to reduce emissions.

Daniel Udeze Jr is a seasoned tax attorney and writes from Lagos, Nigeria

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