For as long as the concept of community has been around, so have the benefits of banding together to cope and grow through certain life-altering experiences. Today, the community is still here, but it has adapted to the technology of the modern world.
Advantages of telemedicine patient programs
- Connecting peers through telemedicine allows for participation for patients whose illness makes it difficult to be mobile, e.g. using portable oxygen, wheelchair, or a service dog, and/or transportation may be unavailable, costly, or the trip is too lengthy.
- Many participants — patients and physicians — have busy schedules. Telemedicine alleviates conflicting responsibilities and allows them to participate more often by allowing for sessions to be conducted from wherever there is an internet connection.
- Families and caregivers of patients in a peer-to-peer support programs are more likely to sit in on the online video sessions. Their unique perspective is valuable to patients, physicians, and other participants.
- Patients participating in a peer support program may have spent a lot of time searching for information about their disease that may not have provided an consolation. Meeting with a patient advocate, opens up a large source of information about relevant medical information, personal experiences, and support.
- Each patient in the peer support program watches over the others’ health, drawing attention to symptoms or behaviors of concern, and offering support between scheduled doctor appointments.
- Telemedicine peer programs can improve a patient’s quality of life and ease their social isolation.