The telemedicine practice is not something new nowadays. Without exception, different kinds of diseases happen, and people cannot always see a doctor. There are various reasons due to which people do not visit the doctor. In fact, people can be very busy at their work, or a hospital can be too far. As a matter of fact, usually, when someone becomes ill he/she picks up the phone and talk over the state of health and probable cure with providers of health care on the phone. Every time people phone 911 in order to get emergency assistance. It allows educational institutions, clinics, and different health care establishments to get certain treatment when it is needed. In fact, telemedicine solves people’s daily medical problems, diagnosing diseases without straight visit to the doctor. Failure to communicate adequately can be an essential defiance in the health treatment market. There is a diversity of modalities of communication with lots of strategies improving communication with the sick person. Patients and healthcare suppliers both receive an advantage from the diversity of communication modalities. Although, there are many electronic communication modalities used for marketing in health treatment; e-mail is regarded to be a specific useful method of healthcare communication nowadays.
In fact, these methods and places of communication may involve advantages and complex tasks to both patients and healthcare providers. They are phone communication, a web-based forum, e-mail, electronic medical records or other modes. Before starting clearly identifying and sufficiently describing the benefits of the e-mail, let us have a closer look at the telemedicine itself.
According to the American Telemedicine Association (2012), “telemedicine is the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s clinical health status” (What is Telemedicine?, 2012, para. 1).
Being a mighty tool, telemedicine has many obstacles, which should be taken away in order for technology to lead to the desired result. There are many difficulties, and the main one is the opposition from the doctors. A lot of health treatment providers are unwilling to study how to work with new technologies; particularly the older physicians working at the country and geographically separated areas. Contrariwise, telemedicine allows healthcare suppliers to negotiate with a specialist in their field in order to make the proper diagnosis and cure the sick person without delay or losing time by sending them to another hospital in a distant location. Other implicit obstacles are cost issues, privacy, the granting and regulation of licenses; they also prevent the widespread realization of telemedicine.
There are two main problems in telemedicine that are closely connected with consumers, providers, policy makers. They are the price of setting up the system and who will give money for the servicing. In fact, the healthcare industry should find money for telemedicine. Being the latest and most advanced stage in the technology, telemedicine will be expensive to realize at the beginning. The equipment of the system and connectivity will be costly, but moving forward the price of the project will be decreased. Moreover, in the future, telemedicine will decrease the price for healthcare. With regard to sick people, telemedicine will permit them to access experts that they cannot get to. Apart from this, citizens of a poor country and geographically isolated areas will be able to get good health treatment without retardation or injury of moving to a new district.
There is a vivid example of work of telemedicine nowadays. For example, a person has a dreadful pain in the neck and visits a physician. Nevertheless, the organization suggests seeing an ENT specialist for further treatment and research. In Patel’s lecture Telemedicine (n.d.) it is stated, “Well, instead of viewing the nearest expert, from whose hospital you take a 45-minute drive or an 18-hour boat journey up the Amazon River; therefore your organization connects you instantly to the ENT expert via Telemedicine” (p. 29).
New technologies have changed the way of communication with providers and sick people. One electronic communication modality, which is used for marketing in health care, is e-mail. Moreover, with the help of e-mail, people communicate with friends, co-workers, family and health care experts. Using e-mail and the Internet, communication reaches a new technology progress and continues to advance. Research by Blustein and Gulick (2011) supports, “As texting, e-mail and other forms of electronic communication from portable devices become the commonplace modes of communication in the average American’s day to-day life, the medical world is following suit” (p. 7). E-mail appears to be a remarkable way for sick people to have a communication with suppliers. A sick person sends e-mails to suppliers for different causes such as prescription refills, laboratory results, and questions about regular medical check-ups. Sick people are concerned about e-mail communication, but it does not turn patients away from taking advantages from this way of communication.
However, using e-mail is one of the easiest and safest ways of communication between the sick and the doctor. Graham et al. (2003) argued, “E-mail has enabled high-speed communication between towns and continents” (p. 37).
Talking about advantages, the use of e-mails has a lot of them to both parties (sick people and suppliers). The increasing access to healthcare is regarded to be the most essential benefit that a person will get from this way of communication. It is accomplished because scarcely each healthcare institution has email addresses.
However, e-mailing can be regarded as not working well in terms of time for communication that fundamentally proposes a permanent access to the healthcare complex. E-mails bridge the distance between providers and patients; consumers are less worried because health care services become closer. The privacy of the e-mails' and people’s medical information is pre-eminent.
The disadvantage of face-to-face communication or communication via the telephone is the need of presence for the sick person and the doctor. The advantage of the e-mail is the possibility to receive and send it anytime and everywhere under different circumstances. A person can be at work, on a trip, and somewhere else; he/she just needs a cell phone with internet access. In brief, a lot of people work with computers nowadays, and it is more opportune and quick to write e-mails than to call someone.
In conclusion, it is necessary to sum up that telemedicine is a decisive method in healthcare. Moreover, this technology permits poor people from a particular area, countryside, or geographically isolated settlements to get high quality health treatment. E-mail happens to be worthy of attention for sick people to have a communication with doctors. More than that, e-mailing opens more possibilities for health care marketing services and products. As a result, it seems to be one of the main communicational modes used in the world.