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Pediatric Telemedicine: Benefits Of Remote Childcare

Pediatric Telemedicine: Benefits Of Remote Childcare

Telemedicine is the use of information and communications technology to break down geographical barriers to healthcare access. As a result, it branched out into specialized fields, of which pediatric telemedicine is one. In the 1970s, the term “telemedicine” was coined, despite its reliance on technology. This science is useful for rural and underserved communities, such as those in developing countries.

Distance is a key factor in telemedicine. As the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to stay in their homes, it also forced telemedicine to the forefront. Especially with an airborne virus, going to clinics and hospitals might not be the best option for your child. Telemedicine helps improve patient outcomes through increased access to healthcare services and medical information. It is also a handy tool for parents or guardians who work from home or don’t have the means to physically visit the doctor’s clinic.

Your child’s doctor

Obviously critical to pediatric telemedicine is finding the right doctor for your child. It should be one of your priorities especially if you are new parents. In fact, you should start looking for one at least three months before you’re due to give birth. Ask for recommendations from relatives, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and other doctors. You could also look into enlisting a family physician, who does not just care for children but patients of all ages. However, as pediatricians specialize in kids, they tend to have a deeper understanding of their overall health needs.

Benefits of pediatric telemedicine

Other than the obvious benefit of less exposure to COVID-19, it has risen in popularity over the past years. As a result, children had improved healthcare access, better disease management and proper monitoring of health conditions.

A study found that the pandemic highlighted how helpful it is for patients with underrepresented backgrounds. Yet another study revealed that telemedicine services were just as good or even better than face-to-face visits.

In addition, experts believe that kids fare better when they are allowed to stay in familiar environments with their families and support systems.

Important things to look out for in pediatric telemedicine

As with many things, not all pediatric telehealth providers are created equal.

Here’s a list of things to keep in mind:

  • Telemedicine providers can’t replace your pediatrician. They should, however, collaborate to bring your child the best care possible.
  • Providers should have experience treating kids. Pediatric telemedicine providers should have training in child health problems and treatments.
  • Consultations should be private. The patient and provider should be able to see each other. But as much as possible, don’t include other people who aren’t directly involved in the visit.
  • An adult should be present. As parents, we are primarily responsible for our kids’ welfare. On the other hand, parents should encourage teens to have a more active role in their healthcare.
  • Providers should follow up with you and the pediatrician. If your provider and pediatrician are not the same person, the former should supply the doctor with information about the visit, including any recommended follow-ups.
  • Equipment should be suitable for kids. In pediatric telemedicine, special cameras, devices, and health monitoring equipment should be usable for kids. People handling the equipment should have some level of training to use it properly. Consult with the doctor about what tools you need and how they can reach your home.
  • Telehealth providers should run tests/exams. The provider should examine or run tests on your child before prescribing any medication or treatment. Your pediatrician may give you test procedure referrals.
  • Providers should judge if a face-to-face visit is necessary. Your provider must be able to know if your child requires a more in-depth assessment. This is in cases where the child is too sick to be treated through telemedicine consultations.

Key Takeaway

Pediatric telemedicine proved to be an important tool in healthcare during the pandemic. Studies have suggested that improving access and cost-effectiveness would make the most of its potential. In the future, experts should evaluate what aspects give kids equitable access to quality care.

Learn more about Child Health here.


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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Telemedicine: opportunities and developments in Member States: report on the second global survey on eHealth 2009, https://www.who.int/goe/publications/goe_telemedicine_2010.pdf. Accessed 14 Mar 2022

Choosing a Pediatrician for Your New Baby, https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/find-ped.html. Accessed 14 Mar 2022

Telemedicine in Pediatrics: Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials, https://doi.org/10.2196/22696. Accessed 14 Mar 2022

Pediatric Telehealth in the COVID-19 Pandemic Era and Beyond, https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2020-047795. Accessed 14 Mar 2022

Telehealth Services Start With Your Pediatrician, https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/health-management/Pages/Telehealth-Services-for-Children.aspx. Accessed 14 Mar 2022

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Written by China Logarta Updated Apr 06
Fact Checked by Kristel Lagorza