Topic: How Telehealth is Transforming Prenatal and Newborn Health Care
On average, pregnant individuals make between 10-15 trips to the doctor’s office during their pregnancy. However, telehealth medicine may be able to reduce that number of visits to approximately half that amount. Virtual care, including telehealth options, has continued to transform the health care system as a whole.
The Telehealth Era
The era of telehealth services has been spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic and may offer relief to individuals seeking prenatal and newborn health care. In essence, they may not need to make 10-15 trips to the doctor’s office but instead, supplement in-person visits with telehealth options. Telehealth options include virtual visits and remote patient monitoring, such as the use of home monitoring devices.
Benefits of Telehealth
Health experts have noted that telehealth has been associated with a number of benefits, including better health outcomes. For example, it has been linked to individuals quitting smoking, as well as helping mothers to successfully breastfeed. It has even been associated with having access to high-risk obstetrical services should the need arise.
Due to telehealth options, some parents have been able to bring their newborns home quicker. Being at home and with their parents helped some children see a mark in improvement if they were experiencing health issues. For example, with a pediatric cardiology home monitoring program set up at home, some new parents were able to still give their newborns the care they needed while closely monitoring their progress.
Other parents were able to bring their newborns home with an Apple iPad device, the NG tube, a scale, and any other equipment that was necessary to monitor their progress. Each day, they would weigh their newborns and input the results in an app that kept the information as part of an electronic health record. The appropriate health experts could then remotely review the data uploaded and monitor the infant’s progress from there. Overall, this was shown to save up to 8 days in the hospital per patient, freeing space for those who needed it most.
Additional monitoring systems have been created for other conditions and more will continue to be developed over time. Telehealth options save costs for both the hospital and patient, as well as allow newborns the proper bonding time with their parents and care in a comfortable environment.
The telehealth era has contributed to many modern advances in medical treatment. Now, some newborns are able to go home quicker and be remotely monitored if they have specific health conditions. Telehealth treatment options allow patients and hospitals to save on costs while allowing young children to receive nurture and care in a comfortable environment.
Discussed Topic: How Telehealth is Transforming Prenatal and Newborn Health Care