Cancer has always been the biggest killer in developing countries like India, especially in the rural sectors. A large number of patients still succumb to a painful death due to the lack of proper infrastructure to spread awareness, provide faster diagnosis and the required treatment. Raising awareness about cancer prevention has thus been the issue of highest priority even at the national level. Complete cure for cancer is related to its early detection. Unfortunately, the rural cancer patients are far from any specialized medical provisions that can detect cancer at an early stage. Telemedicine is considered to be the sole medium that can bring specialized medical help to rural cancer patients instead of taking patients of the Healthcare options.
Telemedicine has already branched out as Telepathology, Telecardiology and Teleradiology. Teleoncology is the recent addition to this list. It is the branch of Telemedicine that deals with cancer management and care. Teleoncology helps cancer patients to have better access to treatment , proper management of side effects and outcomes (both physical and mental) and have an improved life quality. In an evaluation made to study the effect of Telemedicine on cancer patients, found out “Centralized telecare management coupled with automated symptom monitoring resulted in improved pain and depression outcomes in cancer patients receiving care in geographically dispersed urban and rural oncology practices” Effect of telecare management on pain and depression in patients with cancer: a randomized trial (PubMed.gov)
Benefits of Teleoncology for rural patients
Down-scaling of traveling stress and expenditure
The treatment of cancer is expensive. Traveling for follow-ups or for pursuing referrals for specialized treatments add extra cost burdens. This makes many cancer patients, especially in rural areas go untreated, discontinue the treatment or shift to cheaper or unscientific means leading to crippling their longevity. Teleoncology helps rural cancer patients connect to remote specialist from the local Healthcare centers. The doctors can have a look at the patients EHR (Electronic Health Records) and recommend the treatment road-map which can be taken ahead by the local Healthcare practitioners.
Effective Knowledge Sharing
The dismay of rural cancer patients is further aggravated by the ignorance towards the prevention, probable symptoms leading to it early detection. The Teleoncology platforms can connect the rural Healthcare centers to nearest cancer research center where they can be educated about the prevention,symptoms and the treatment procedure. The training of the remote staff members in handling specialized oncology care management and virtual meetings of doctors to discuss important cases can also be added benefits of this platform.
Improve and on-time consultation
The introduction of Telemedicine for the treatment of cancer has scaled up the possibility of early detection. Most agrarian patients suffer the perils of this deadly disease as they are reluctant to visit the doctor due to the discomfort of meeting an unknown doctor in a new city, transit cost or the long waiting time at the doctor’s clinic. Teleoncology can eliminate the said hurdles, making it easier and less-time consuming for the patients to connect with the specialists. They can now connect with the doctor from the local clinic accompanied by their relatives or family member, making diagnosis more effective. With teleoncology the patients can also avail oral chemotherapy is form of drugs in virtual supervision of the doctors and in association with the local clinicians, thus saving them from the painful needles.
Answering to the crisis of skilled medical professionals
The count of patients suffering from cancer has already outnumbered the total oncologists. This is more prominently visible in villages.The rural Healthcare clinics are mostly run by general physicians and nurses. These clinics do not have the required funds of having an on-premises oncologist. Patients with terminal or critical illness are often referred to the big cities for specialized care thus, delaying the treatment. Teleoncology platform fills the vacuum, connecting patients to the remote doctors and even being instrumental in carrying out telesurgeries successfully.
PeopleLink, from the very onset has been working to implement virtual connectivity across all spheres of medical domain with the motive to hit the pain-points of both the patients and the medical practitioners. Our solutions have global utilization, bridging the gap between the doctors and the patients in offering treatment, trauma and care management. Lately, we are collaborating with offshore medical brands to launch medical apps for the Indian market.
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