Wednesday, August 23

What is telehealth for the heart

Remote monitoring and virtual visits are both practical and affordable approaches to improve cardiovascular care.

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, seeing and conversing with a doctor via smartphone, tablet, or computer while at home became the norm. The number of in-person medical consultations has increased during the last year or so. A scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) that was published on December 20, 2022, in Circulation states that video visits and other telehealth methods can still be a good alternative for treating people with heart disease.

What we're seeing now is an increase in blended care that includes a combination of in-person and virtual visits. The hybrid model has been most successful for health care institutions that have built the infrastructure to incorporate virtual health care into their operations. According to her, it's critical for physicians and patients to pay attention to each person's unique needs, preferences, and level of comfort with various forms of care.

Telehealth in its various forms
There are three ways to deliver telehealth:

Synchronous communication between the patient and the doctor over the phone or another device with an Internet connection.

asynchronous—when information is transmitted between doctors and patients but not in real time, akin to e-mail monitoring—when data like weight, blood pressure, or a basic electrocardiogram (ECG) are delivered to the clinician by wirelessly connected equipment.

Most medical offices already had Internet-based portals that consumers used to schedule appointments and get test results before the outbreak. These portals frequently act as the entry point for synchronous visits, which are perfect for a lot of the care patients who have or are at risk for heart disease need.

For instance, doctors frequently discuss any lifestyle or medication modifications you may make to better manage your illness after reviewing information from various measurements or tests you've performed at home, such as weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar readings, or from a lab (a cholesterol test). According to the AHA statement, numerous studies have demonstrated that telemedicine therapy can significantly reduce blood pressure and other heart-related risk factors.

Currently, frequent communication between physicians and patients frequently comes from the medical office and frequently consists of reminders or surveys concerning screenings or testing. However, there would be more time for conversation if information was sent through a portal before a virtual visit.

Remote observation
A smart scale that wirelessly transmits data can detect modest weight increases in heart failure patients that might indicate the need for medication adjustments. Other monitoring alternatives include smart watches or other gadgets that track your heart rate and perform a quick ECG to check for irregular cardiac rhythms, which you can then give to your doctor. Although doctors are getting more comfortable prescribing these digital tools, not everyone should use them. Over measuring can exacerbate the problem of rising health-related anxiety. You make sure you comprehend when, why, and how frequently self-monitoring makes sense for you.

Make the most of your online medical appointment.
Your doctor's office will send the instructions for the software program you need for your computer, tablet, or smartphone. A dependable Internet connection is also required. Here are some extra pointers:

Ensure that your gadget is connected or charged.
Set up your gadget in a secluded, peaceful space that ideally has a light source for your face.
Aim the camera so that the doctor can clearly see you. Use a phone stand if you're using one, so you're not holding it in your hand.

To allow time to address any connection issues, log on five to ten minutes before your appointment.
In the event that the video malfunctions, have a phone on hand as a backup. Otherwise, get ready as if you were going to meet them in person, with a list of questions and a notebook and pen for taking notes.

People with heart disease who require frequent check-ins typically appreciate the convenience of virtual visits, which reduce travel and waiting times. But there are times when it's best to sit together in the same room, even when you don't need a physical exam.We're gradually going toward a future where telemedicine and in-person care are combined in the best possible way.

No content on this site, regardless of date, should be used to replace direct medical advice from your doctor or another trained practitioner.
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