Delivery of sleep care using telemedicine

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Covid-19 pandemic has given birth to many new possibilities. One of those possibilities is the widespread use of telemedicine. With every aspect of our lives going remote, telemedicine is a technology that helps patients gain access to remote, safe, timely health care.

As per a study published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the usage of telemedicine for the treatment of sleep disorders is highlighted. It incorporates the lessons learned from the transition to telemedicine during the pandemic and the advantages of utilizing remote care when needed. 

The growth of Telemedicine

It’s important to note that the telemedicine industry continues to grow, and even before the coronavirus hit the world, the market was expected to hit $53.1 billion by 2026.

Now that social distancing is the new norm, and technology advancements such as faster internet connection plus upgraded camera resolution surge, the adoption of telemedicine is not going to slow down anytime soon.

With such interesting progressions, this past year has highlighted the advantages of using telemedicine for a myriad of health needs, including sleep-related disorders. Sleep care via telemedicine has the potential to pave the way for a disruptive solution in health care — changing the way we approach medical professionals for a variety of sleep issues. When done right, sleep telemedicine can prove to be effective and convenient.

What is Sleep care?

Sleep care is the practice of diagnosing and treating sleep disorders such as snoring, insomnia, sleep apnea, nightmares, etc. Sleep medicine specialists are equipped to treat such conditions in patients. Your sleep is not only defined by the quantity but also the quality you get every single night. And this becomes a benchmark for good health. Sleep disorders are not meant to be ignored since they have the potential to increase the risk for anxiety, depression, weight gain, heart diseases, etc.

What is Sleep care using Telemedicine?

Sleep telemedicine is a process of leveraging a secure audio-video technology to care for patient’s sleep disorders. Via telemedicine technology, sleep specialists and patients sitting in any part of the world come together for an appointment. This is seamlessly done without requiring a physical appointment

By utilizing a home WiFi connection and a gadget of their choice, patients conveniently connect with sleep specialists. During the online appointment, doctors perform checkups, review symptoms, and prescribe suitable medications.

Limited access to technology, lots of user functionalities, and regulatory issues have been the reasons for the slow adoption of sleep telemedicine so far. However, due to the recent Covid-19 pandemic, sleep telemedicine seems to be the next big thing.

How Telemedicine for sleep disorders work?

1. Consultation between a patient and the sleep specialist to perform a checkup

2. Exchange of patient data to improve disease management. Data such as patient’s concerns and health backgrounds are transmitted via the internet, through video, and smartphone applications.

3. Follow-ups with respiratory therapists to help patients with ongoing assessment

4. Suitable prescriptions such as remote CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure therapy) usage. This machine helps unblock airways for easy breathing during the nights.

Benefits of Sleep Telemedicine

Whether it’s our child at home or countless office meetings, life obligations keep us away from taking care of our health. A safe, secure, convenient option such as telemedicine truly proves to be a life savior. You get to experience no delays with your appointments since there’s no waiting in the queue, and it’s easy on your pocket as you’ll be avoiding additional costs on travels, parking, etc.

You’ll get to enjoy the above benefits with zero compromises on the quality of the treatment since remote care is said to be on par with a face-to-face consultation.

“Preliminary findings from this study suggest that patients undergoing telemedicine for insomnia can feel just as close and supported by their therapist as if they were in the office,” said Deirdre Conroy, Ph.D., a clinical associate professor of psychiatry and clinical director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at Michigan Medicine, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor

Is telemedicine the future of sleep telemedicine?

Absolutely! Looking at the convenience it offers, there’s no doubt that the adoption of sleep telemedicine is going to be the new norm. Especially, in rural areas where access to good-quality healthcare is a major barrier. A lot of factors such as inadequate knowledge regarding quality sleep and its importance on overall health remain to be the hurdles to gaining sleep care via telemedicine. Utilizing the technology may put an end to such doubts.

Patients and healthcare providers will benefit from embracing and adopting sleep telemedicine to encourage widespread access to high-quality convenient healthcare. We see the prevalence of this affordable, safe, remote care not just limited to sleep disorders but also other specialties.

Are you ready for a peaceful sleep?

Albot Health

Albot Health

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