The pandemic saw the wide adoption of online tools that allow people to perform activities remotely. People started working from home, online orders increased, and people started consulting their doctors online.
Telemedicine made access to medical health inclusive as people who live far from the city can consult a doctor whenever necessary. The majority of people who used telemedicine said it’s more convenient than physically visiting the doctor’s clinic. Others also said it removed the anxiety of getting exposed to people who are potentially sick.
While telemedicine’s increasing popularity was a godsend for digital natives, it takes more than digital access to make the system work. To ensure that people benefit from the system, it’s essential to simplify the processes, so technologically-challenged individuals won’t think twice about using it.
Education and Support
It’s important to ensure people know how the system works. If people are not sure how the system works, the system hasn’t reached its full potential. Due to this, education is important to ensure everyone understands the processes behind the system. Educating people also gives them the confidence they need to use the system. Providing videos explaining the benefits of the system will go a long way.
With this, it is also important to provide the people the necessary tools to use the system. These tools are not limited to the devices people use to get in touch with a medical professional. It also includes the apps they need to schedule appointments. Video tutorials and FAQs should also be included to ensure the people know how to use the tools.
Additionally, support should continue even after the people already have the tools needed to get medical assistance. The support will focus on issues that people will experience while using the tools. While bots can take care of this, it’s also important to have someone ready to answer the questions if the people need someone to talk to.
Digital Log in
To ensure the security of an account, industry experts recommend using passwords with at least eight characters. But if people have too many online accounts, it will be challenging to remember all of their passwords. Writing the password on a piece of paper can help. But if they lose the paper, they’ll have a hard time accessing the account.
There are other methods of accessing online accounts. One option is through facial recognition. Since the device people use to access telemedicine services has a camera, facial recognition technology is a good idea. But it’s still important for the medical institution to consult a company offering IT security solutions to ensure the system’s security.
Flexibility is also important for the system to become inclusive. The system should allow access through smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. This is in addition to accessing it through a laptop or a PC. Since the people who will use the service might not have a computer, it’s important to make the system accessible to other devices. The flexibility in the device requirement increases the number of people who can use it.
In addition to flexibility, the system should also be user-friendly. Since many of the people who will use the system are not digital natives, it’s important to make it easy for them to use. The instructions should use plain English. It should avoid using jargon, which will lead to frustration to someone who’s only starting to use the system.
Enabling voice control can also be a good move since it allows people to speak instead of type. For people who have sight issues, a text-to-speech feature is also useful. Another useful feature is a larger view of the doctor on the screen. This allows users to see the person they are talking to. Making the system easy to use encourages more people to use it.
Similar to the instructions in using the system, medical professionals should also use plain English when talking with the patients. Instead of using medical jargon, they can describe medical issues using simple English. Using jargon does not help people who are not familiar with them. Ensuring the patients understand the medical issues will allow them to take the necessary steps to deal with them.
Additionally, if the patient isn’t a native English speaker, it can be necessary for medical institutions to use translation tools to facilitate communication. It can be an interpreter who can join the discussion or an online or integrated translation tool. The important thing is that the message is clear.
The use of technology in medicine, particularly telemedicine, has a huge potential in making medicine inclusive. So medical institutions need to start using these tools to serve more people around the country.