Manage your health in the Wi-Fi era (2023)

Telemedicine: Technology meets healthcare

See how technology can improve your health.

By Mayo Clinic staff

How many times have you heard that the Internet has changed modern life? In fact, the way you keep in touch with family and friends and buy goods and services has likely changed. And it has probably even changed the way you search for information on health topics.

Several telemedicine tools are offered to help you manage your health care and get the services you need. During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many people have used telemedicine. People often still use it. Learn more about telemedicine.

What is telemedicine?

Telemedicine is the use of digital information and communication technologies to remotely access healthcare services and manage your healthcare. Technologies can include computers and mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. It could be a technology you use at home. Or a nurse or other health care provider can provide telemedicine from a doctor's office or mobile van, for example, in rural areas. Telemedicine can also be technology that your healthcare provider uses to improve or support healthcare services.

The goals of telemedicine, sometimes referred to as e-health or m-health (mobile health), include the following:

  • Facilitate healthcare for people living in remote or rural communities.
  • Protect yourself and others if you have an infectious disease like COVID-19.
  • Provides basic care for many conditions.
  • Making services more available or accessible to people with limited mobility, time, or transportation options.
  • Provide access to specialist doctors.
  • Improve communication and coordination of care between members of the health care team and the caregiver.
  • Offer advice on self-governance of health care.

Many people have found telemedicine helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic and are still using it. Telemedicine is being used more and more.

Here are many examples of telemedicine services that may be helpful for your healthcare needs.

virtual tours

Some clinics may use telemedicine to provide remote care. For example, clinics can offer virtual visits. This allows you to consult with a health professional, mental health counselor, or nurse via online video or phone chat.

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Virtual visits can provide treatment for many conditions, including migraines, skin conditions, diabetes, depression, anxiety, colds, coughs, and COVID-19. These visits allow you to see a provider when you do not need or cannot receive a personal visit.

Before your visit, your medical team may send you information or forms to fill out online and mail to you. You can also make sure you have the technology you need. They will check if you also need to update or install any software or apps. And they can tell you how to sign up and join the video chat for your visit. Also, the healthcare team can explain how to use the microphone, camera, and text chat. If necessary, ask a family member to help you set up the necessary technology.

All you need is a smartphone, tablet or computer with internet access to take the virtual tour. You can find a comfortable, quiet and private place to sit during your visit. Your provider also meets in a private place.

Other options

Some people may use telephone or web-based services to receive medical care or advice. When you sign up for a web-based service or call a service that offers first aid or emergency care, you are faced with many questions. The provider or nurse can prescribe medication. Or they may suggest tips for home care or additional medical care.

Although these services are useful, they have disadvantages:

  • Treatment may not be coordinated with your regular provider.
  • Important details of your medical history may not be included.
  • The computer-assisted model used for decision-making may not be suitable for you if you have a complex medical history.
  • The Service does not allow you to simply make treatment decisions with your provider.

remote monitoring

Many technologies allow your doctor or health care team to monitor your health remotely. These technologies include:

  • Web-based or mobile applications to upload data to your provider or healthcare team. For example, if you have diabetes, you can submit food, blood sugar, and medication records for a nurse to review.
  • Devices that wirelessly measure and send data such as blood pressure, blood sugar, and oxygen levels.
  • Portable devices that record and send data automatically. For example, the devices can record data such as heart rate, blood sugar, gait, posture, tremors, physical activity, or sleep.
  • Home monitoring devices for the elderly or people with dementia that can detect changes in daily activities such as falls.
  • Devices that send notifications to remind you to exercise or take medication.

Suppliers in conversation with suppliers

Providers can also use technology to better serve people. For example, general practitioners can use a virtual consultation to learn more about their diagnosis or treatment with specialists in other locations.

The GP sends exam notes, medical history, test results, X-rays or other images to the specialist for review. The specialist can respond by email. Or they can take you on a virtual tour of your provider's office. You can also request a personal meeting.

In some cases, a nurse or other health professional can use technology to deliver care in a doctor's office, clinic, or mobile van in a rural area. You can call a specialist or provider at a medical clinic for a remote consultation.

Through these virtual consultations, unnecessary personal referrals to specialists can be avoided. It can also shorten the wait time to see a specialist. And they can save you a trip to a specialist.

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patient portal

Your GP practice may have an online patient portal. These portals provide a more secure way to communicate with your provider than email. A portal provides a secure online tool to:

  • Send a message to your provider or nurse.
  • Ask about prescription refills.
  • Check test results and summaries from previous visits.
  • Schedule visits or request reminders of appointments for preventive care.

If your healthcare provider works in a large healthcare system, the portal can also be a one-stop-shop for any specialists you may see.

personal health apps

Many applications have been developed to help people better organize their medical information in one secure place. These digital tools can help you:

  • Store personal health information.
  • Record vital signs.
  • Calculate and track your calories.
  • Schedule reminders to take medicine.
  • Record physical activity as your daily step count.

personal health records

An electronic personal health record (PHR) system is a collection of information about your health that you control and maintain. A PHR app can be easily accessed at any time through an internet-enabled device such as your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. A PHR also allows you to review your lab results, x-rays, and notes from your provider. Your provider may make this available to other providers with permission.

In an emergency, a personal health record can quickly provide important information to emergency services. For example, it can show your current health status, medications, drug allergies, and your provider's contact information.

The potential of telemedicine

Technology has the potential to improve the quality of healthcare. And technology can make it easier for more people to get care.

Telemedicine can offer opportunities to make healthcare more efficient, better coordinated, and closer to home. You can take a virtual tour anywhere, like at home or in the car. And you don't have to travel to take a virtual tour.

Telemedicine can be helpful in allowing you to stay home when you are sick or find it difficult to travel. And you can use telemedicine if you live far from a medical center. And many people have managed to keep their distance from others at home and are still being cared for during the COVID-19 pandemic. And providers can diagnose and treat COVID-19 remotely.

Virtual tours can also give you the opportunity to meet with experts who don't live where you live.

The frontiers of telemedicine

Telemedicine has the potential for more coordinated care. However, there is also the risk of gaps in care, care overload, inappropriate medication use, or unnecessary care. Providers are unable to perform an in-person physical exam, which may affect diagnosis.

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The potential benefits of telemedicine services may be limited by other factors such as cost. Telemedicine insurance reimbursement may vary by state and type of insurance in the United States. However, in the US, insurance continues to expand into telemedicine services. And during the COVID-19 pandemic, insurance restrictions changed for a period of time. Check with your insurance company to find out which providers offer virtual tours.

Additionally, some people who need increased access to care may be limited because they do not have access to the Internet or a mobile device. Those without Internet access can access telemedicine services through wireless Internet provided in public places. For example, libraries or community centers may offer wireless internet for virtual tours that can be done in private rooms.

Sometimes the technique doesn't work well. It is important that you have a plan with your provider to call them if there are any problems with the virtual tour.

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18. June 2022

  1. telemedicine National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. Accessed May 6, 2022.
  2. What is telemedicine? Accessed May 6, 2022.
  3. Ong MK, et al. Telemedicine for adults. Accessed May 5, 2022.
  4. Doraiswamy S et al. Use of telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic: scoping review. Journal of Medical Research on the Internet. 2020; doi:10.2196/24087.
  5. Brotman JJ et al. Outpatient telemedicine service delivery in the United States: before and during coronavirus disease 2019. Chest Reviews. 2021; doi:10.1016/j.chest.2020.11.020.
  6. Telehealth: defining 21st century care. American Telemedicine Association. Abgerufen on May 6, 2022.
  7. Mahtta D, et al. Promises and dangers of telemedicine in today's world. Current Cardiology Reports. 2021; doi:10.1007/s11886-021-01544-w.
  8. Ask Mayo Expert. COVID-19: Outpatient treatment. Mayo Clinic; 2021
  9. Tapuria A, et al. Implications of patient access to electronic health records: systematic review. 2021; doi:10.1080/17538157.2021.1879810.
  10. Takahashi PY (Expertmeinung). Mayo Clinic. 9. May 2022.

See more in depth

See also

  1. Age is not an obstacle to organ donation
  2. Myths about the causes of cancer.
  3. plastic operation
  4. Create a family health record.
  5. Do you have a living will?
  6. Emergency Essentials: Assembling a Survival Kit
  7. emergency health information
  8. Have you recently had an eye exam?
  9. Kidney donation: are there long-term risks?
  10. Life Will
  11. Organ Donation: Don't Be Fooled By These Myths
  12. Osteopathic medicine
  13. personal health records
  14. Web Knowledge: Choose Health Sites Carefully
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How has technology helped you to maintain your health in a better way? ›

Personal health technology now has the power to collect data from all parts of the body and can report back your results. Monitoring your healthy activities can increase your motivation to exercise, get more sleep and eat better.

How would technology affect the health of every individual using it? ›

Social media and mobile devices may lead to psychological and physical issues, such as eyestrain and difficulty focusing on important tasks. They may also contribute to more serious health conditions, such as depression. The overuse of technology may have a more significant impact on developing children and teenagers.

How does technology affect our physical and mental health? ›

Overall, in terms of the relationship between screen use and both physical and mental health outcomes, there have been several studies that suggest higher levels of screen use in children and adolescents is associated with reduced physical activity, increased risk of depression, and lower well-being.

What are 3 negative impacts of technology on society? ›

Experts have found that in addition to making our lives more convenient, but there's a negative side to technology — it can be addicting and it can hurt our communication skills. Extended screen time can result in health ramifications like insomnia, eyestrain, and increased anxiety and depression.

What is technology for healthy lifestyle? ›

Wellness technology is software or hardware that many organizations use to identify health issues, prevent diseases, promote wellness programs that help lead a healthy way of life as well as foster mental and physical well-being of employees.

What are the effects of Internet on health? ›

Headaches, blurred vision, dry eye, and light sensitivity may be experienced from long hours in front of a computer screen. Elevated blood pressure was seen in a study of teenagers spending over 14 hours per week online.

What are the biggest technology challenges facing health care? ›

How to Solve Healthcare Problems with Technology?
  • Problem 1: No Remote Access. ...
  • Problem 2: Siloes in the Healthcare World. ...
  • Problem 4: Absence of Supply Management System. ...
  • Problem 5: Managing the Massive Volumes of Patient-Related Data. ...
  • Problem 6: Inefficiencies and Errors in Data Sharing.
Oct 12, 2022

What are the main health issues related to using technology? ›

Looking down at an electronic gadget for long periods can lead to neck and back pain, as well as pains in elbows, wrists, and hands. In addition, laptop and smartphone usage can involve people sitting in positions consistent with poor ergonomic function and poor ergonomic positioning.

How does the internet affect mental and physical health? ›

Internet addiction is associated with many mental disorders, including low self-esteem, impulsiveness, poor sleep, mood disorders, depression, and suicide6. A strong correlation has been established between mental health, quality of life, and the level of Internet addiction.

How to maintain a balance between mental health and technology? ›

If a family member often texts late at night, you might let them know that you plan stop checking messages at a certain time. Take regular breaks during the day. Get away from your computer, turn off your phone, and spend time without technology. It doesn't have to be a long break—even an hour or two can help.

What is a negative impact of technology in healthcare? ›

Risk of Miscommunication

Especially for the elderly and the most vulnerable patients, relying on technology as the interface of care can cause confusion and frustration; and can result in confusion, treatment plans not being understood properly, or patient non-compliance.

What should humanity do to avoid the dangers of modern technology? ›

BUT it's important to do some research on the positive AND negative effects of technology.
7 ways parents can counter the negative effects of technology
  1. Read yourself in. ...
  2. Take part. ...
  3. Avoid isolation. ...
  4. Be reasonable. ...
  5. Kids are no robots. ...
  6. Watchdog. ...
  7. Creativity.
May 1, 2019

How can we prevent negative effects of Internet? ›

How to reduce negative effects of technology on children
  1. Monitor and limit the use of technology. It's of great importance to know how much your kid uses devices and in what ways. ...
  2. Teach responsibility and conscious behavior. ...
  3. Keep up with tech industry spin. ...
  4. Find alternatives to technology.
May 8, 2018

What are the benefits of Internet in healthcare? ›

Let's see what are the benefits of IoT:
  • Lower price. Healthcare providers can monitor patients in real-time by using IoT solutions and connected medical devices. ...
  • Improved patient experience. ...
  • Better drug management. ...
  • Removed Faults. ...
  • Better outcomes. ...
  • Customized treatment.
Dec 19, 2019

Why is health technology important? ›

Technology helps to reduce errors, prevent adverse drug reactions, protect patient privacy, and improve overall care.

What are examples of health technology? ›

Healthcare technology is any technology, including medical devices, IT systems, algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI), cloud and blockchain, designed to support healthcare organizations.

Does Wi-Fi is a threat to human health? ›

There are many scientific studies demonstrating the detrimental effects of WiFi on the human body. It causes oxidative stress by increasing the production of free radicals. Increased oxidative stress is responsible for oxidative damages to cellular macromolecules, such as proteins, lipids, and DNA.

Is Wi-Fi a threat to health? ›

Wi-Fi sends data via electromagnetic radiation, a type of energy. The radiation creates areas called electromagnetic fields (EMFs). There's concern that the radiation from Wi-Fi causes health issues like cancer. But there are currently no known health risks in humans.

Can the internet help us improve our health? ›

Some studies have found that patients participating in online education and support groups have better health outcomes than control groups. Online participants have also benefitted from greater satisfaction and confidence in managing their medical conditions.

How can we solve the problem of health care? ›

Consider the following five evidence-based approaches to improving access to health care.
  1. Expand Insurance to Cover Health Care Costs. ...
  2. Extend Telehealth Services. ...
  3. Invest in Mobile Clinics. ...
  4. Educate the Public About Multiple Health Care Sites. ...
  5. Improve Cultural Responsiveness.

What technology has had an impact on healthcare? ›

Faster communication systems have also had a positive impact on medical records. More hospitals and private practices are making the switch from paper to electronic medical records. This has simplified the filing process and made it easier for patients to switch from one provider to another.

How technology affects human behavior? ›

In a way, we are becoming addicted to it. Addiction to gaming among children is a fine example of this, reflecting very poorly in their school grades. Think about how the internet changed our social behavior. Now we interact more on phone calls, emails which have replaced the traditional way of meeting face to face.

How technology has changed our lives? ›

Technology has changed our living style:

Our daily activities can be done with technological materials. We can do our household chores, regular activities with the small robotic system. Shopping, food delivery, transportation, and healthcare are performed with advanced technology.

Is digital technology making life better? ›

Digital technology makes it easy to stay in touch with friends, family, and work remotely, even if you are in another part of the world. You can express through words, video, audio, and exchange other media. Websites, apps, and software have all been designed to help users to socialize.

Does the internet cause health anxiety? ›

Googling Symptoms Causes Health Anxiety

This anxiety happens so frequently today, there's a name for it—cyberchondria. According to the British news source, millions suffer from it. Cyberchondriacs turn to the Web for comfort about their health issues instead of a health professional.

Does internet cause anxiety? ›

Internet use and anxiety

Whether it's from reading too much negative news or researching your symptoms online – something Dr. Mathew says he sees frequently among his patients – too much computer time can increase your anxiety.

What causes mental health problems? ›

childhood abuse, trauma, or neglect. social isolation or loneliness. experiencing discrimination and stigma, including racism. social disadvantage, poverty or debt.

What are 5 ways to maintain positive mental health? ›

5 steps to mental wellbeing
  1. Connect with other people. Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. ...
  2. Be physically active. Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness. ...
  3. Learn new skills. ...
  4. Give to others. ...
  5. Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness)

How do you stay healthy in the digital age? ›

To maintain health and wellness in the digital age, it is essential to establish healthy habits such as regular exercise, eating nutritious foods, limiting screen time, taking breaks from technology, managing stress levels, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep.

What are 6 ways to maintain good mental health? ›

6 ways to take care of your mental health and well-being this World Mental Health Day
  • Talk to someone you trust. ...
  • Look after your physical health. ...
  • Do activities that you enjoy. ...
  • Steer away from harmful substances. ...
  • Take two minutes to focus on the world around you. ...
  • Seek professional help.
Oct 7, 2021

How can we balance technology and humanity? ›

Haron offers these five best practices for getting the balance right:
  1. Adopt a hybrid model. “Artificial intelligence, chatbots, and voice bots can immediately solve many customer service problems that companies currently face. ...
  2. Keep people in charge. ...
  3. Create a plan. ...
  4. Hire smart. ...
  5. Recognize the potential.
Sep 25, 2020

Do you think that technology is a threat to the humanity? ›

Digital technologies can fa- cilitate harm to people, such as bullying, harassment, fraud and misinformation. Other technology-related threats to human security can be associated with re- sponses to the uncertainty generated by technology diusion.

How to reduce negative effects of computers on human health? ›

Ways to reduce digital eye strain
  • Reducing overhead lighting to eliminate screen glare.
  • Using eyewear if needed.
  • Positioning yourself at arm's distance away from the screen.
  • Increasing text size on devices to make them easier to read.
  • Getting regular eye exams.

How do you protect yourself on the internet? ›

7 Tips for Protecting Yourself Online
  1. Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date. ...
  2. Set strong passwords. ...
  3. Watch out for phishing scams. ...
  4. Keep personal information personal. ...
  5. Secure your internet connection. ...
  6. Shop safely. ...
  7. Read the site's privacy policies.

What are 5 negative things about the internet? ›

The Effects Of Too Much Time Online
  • No Escape From Work: Constant connection means that not only are you connected to your friends and family, but also to your work. ...
  • Lack Of Sleep: Social media can be addictive without us realising it. ...
  • Could Be Linked To Depression: ...
  • Causes FOMO: ...
  • Can Lead To Low Self-esteem:
Oct 17, 2019

How do technologies affect individuals and society? ›

It affects the life of people and changes the way of their learning, thinking, and communication. It plays a major role in society, and now it is very tough to imagine the life without technology. Both technology and society are co-related, co-dependent, co-influence with each other.

What are 3 major effects of technology on everyday living? ›

Technology is important and useful in all areas of human life today. It has made life easy and comfortable by making communication and transport faster and easier (Harrington, 2011, p. 35). It has made education accessible to all, and has improved healthcare services.

What are the negative effects of technology in a person? ›

Eight Negative Impacts of Technology
  • Depression and Other Mental Health Issues. A University of Michigan study found that Facebook use led to a decrease in happiness and overall life satisfaction. ...
  • Lack of Sleep. ...
  • ADHD. ...
  • Obesity. ...
  • Learning Barriers. ...
  • Decreased Communication and Intimacy. ...
  • Cyberbullying. ...
  • Loss of Privacy.
Jul 22, 2019

How technology affects our health essay? ›

There is no denying in the fact that staring into computer, laptop as well as mobile phone screens for longer hours causes irritation in eyes. It is also the reason for headache in many individuals. This is known as tension headache which is caused as a result of paying too much attention to the screen.

What are the 5 positive impacts of using technology in society? ›

Expanded security, enhanced communication, increased information, education, and, last but not least, amusement are vital aspects of technology.

How has technology impacted the person you are today? ›

Technology affects almost every aspect of 21st century life, from transport efficiency and safety to access to food and healthcare, socialization and productivity. The power of the internet has enabled global communities to form, and ideas and resources to be shared more easily.

What are positive and negative effects of technology? ›

What are the effects of technology? It has both positive and negative effect. Some of them are increasing satisfaction, better communication channels, eliminating geographical boundaries and some negatives are obesity, health issues, sleep problems, etc.

What is the most important technology we use everyday? ›

The Internet and Electronic Devices

Our modern world is run on electricity. Electricity is a technology that makes almost everything we do possible.

What are 5 examples of technology that you use everyday? ›

6 common types of technology
  • Television. Television sets transmit signals over which we can listen to and view audio and visual content. ...
  • Internet. ...
  • Cell phones. ...
  • Computers. ...
  • Circuitry. ...
  • Artificial intelligence. ...
  • Software. ...
  • Audio and visual technology.
May 25, 2021

Does technology cause mental health issues? ›

Social comparison, feelings of missing out, and cyberbullying all stem from the content we see online. These negative impacts lead to more depression and anxiety. Our bodies experience the negative effects of technology, too. More screen time can disrupt sleep, especially if this screen time is before bed.

How does technology cause anxiety? ›

In essence, the more we scroll the internet, the more our brain craves the hit of dopamine we receive from it. Eventually, more internet use is required for our brain to receive the same dopamine reaction it's used to. This can cause or worsen anxiety if we think back to how our brain responds to perceived threats.

What are the positive effects of the internet on mental health? ›

People who feel more connected to others have lower levels of anxiety and depression. Being online gives children and young people opportunities to develop and maintain positive relationships. They use technology to enhance their existing relationships and stay in touch with friends and family.


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