Telemedicine in Spain
The advancement of technology and bioinformatics, and the pandemic itself, is allowing the use of virtual meetings to expand at a rate unthinkable a few years ago. And in this sense, there is no doubt that digitization is here to stay. Information and communication technology (ICT) was shown as an essential tool for the new model of health and medicine and acquired the name of “Telemedicine or remote doctor”.
For this reason, it is very likely that in the coming years most virtual meetings will go from the current images to a 3D space with digital avatars, creating a virtual space, capable of replicating the sensations of being in a room together with other people.
In the near future, technology will have a direct impact on lifestyle, and a clear example of this is the development of telemedicine.
Teleconsultation and telemedicine, are they already implemented in Spain?
Teleconsultation is not new, but its popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic was. Covid gave a boost to teleconsultation and telemedicine, although there are still some challenges to solve.
In the last two years, we have seen more people opt for virtual appointments instead of in-person care. Spain is currently at the forefront in the implementation of telemedicine, on average at the international level, 39% of the patients interviewed indicated that they had ever made a teleconsultation, while 61% indicated that they had not. Spain has exceeded this figure, with 62% of patients who have opted for teleconsultation using mobile technology, computers, and staying at home for telematic consultations.
Spain exceeds these figures with a percentage of 62% of patients who have made consultations electronically. Above Canada, UK, Germany, Italy or France
However, I would like to emphasize that it is and will be an extremely useful tool but that it should not be used excessively and to the detriment of avoiding patient-medical contact.
On the one hand, we use it to make first contact with patients who live far from Valencia or even from Spain. They send us the studies, we analyze them, and in the video consultation, we can give them our second opinion through a video consultation.
But, on the other hand, I believe that we should never use it excessively, since personal contact with patients, listening to them attentively and dedicating the necessary time to them, allows us to make a more precise diagnosis of their ailments and, consequently, offer them a more effective treatment.