As the world continues to grapple with the pandemic that has been created by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, every industry is being forced to adjust to a new normal. Perhaps no industry has been impacted more than healthcare. Given the nature of the crisis, it makes sense that the healthcare industry has been thrust into the bright lights of the world. Even as healthcare workers act as heroes, placing their lives on the line every day to help their communities and save others, there are other parts of the healthcare industry that have been forced into the same social distancing mode as the rest of the economy. This has led to the growth of Telehealth Canada.
Telehealth has been on the rise during the past few years; however, many hospitals have been slow to adopt this practice. There have been a few reasons for this delay. In some cases, hospitals were unsure that the technology would be reliable enough to facilitate virtual health visits. In other cases, there were concerns about how these visits would be reimbursed. Now, thanks to the pandemic, telehealth is in the spotlight. There are numerous situations in which telehealth has proven itself useful.
One of the biggest applications of telehealth has been in the field of psychiatry. The biggest limitation of telehealth is the inability of doctors to place their hands on patients. While some fields rely on the results of physical exams to make decisions, a psychiatrist rarely has to conduct a physical exam. This makes this field perfect for the application of telehealth. Given the shelter in place and social distancing guidelines that have played such a big role during the pandemic, many people are struggling with their mental health. Small businesses are closing their doors. Employees are getting laid off. Individuals and families are wondering how they are going to pay their mortgages and rents. People are getting frustrated with the social isolation that comes with the pandemic. This has led to the rise of mental health issues.
Now, thanks to telehealth, people are able to visit with a trained mental health professional in a virtual setting. Without having to journey to the office of a psychiatrist (which would place their health at risk), people are able to visit with trained mental health professionals from the comfort of their own home. The biggest question about telehealth now is how this field is going to be applied once the pandemic is in the rearview mirror. It has grown by leaps and bounds during the past few months and many want it to stay.