Benefits of Telemedicine for Pediatrics
30 Sep 2022
Dr. Tanya Andreeva - Specialist in Pediatrics and Children’s Rheumatology, consultant to USBAL in Orthopedics “Prof. Boycho Boychev”, is part of the team of innovative doctors who formed the Medical Board of Medrec:M. In this article, dr. Andreeva shares the benefits of digital healthcare for pediatrics.
It is important to start with a disclaimer that the child is not a copy of the adult. Children have their specific characteristics for each age group. For a child to develop well, his growth must be carefully monitored by a pediatrician. By doing so even the smallest deviation from the norm in this long and complex process might be corrected on time.
How does telemedicine help?
Pediatricians are the medical professionals who are part of children’s and their family’s life. Therefore, easy contact with patients is of great importance to me as a doctor. Telemedicine provides opportunities for quick and unhindered communication between doctor and patient (when working with children, respectively, between doctor and family). Children often get sick and their symptoms develop much faster than in adults this is why a quick and adequate medical intervention is of great importance.
Different communication options are available: via chat, phone call, or video connection - the parent will decide which is the most suitable form of communication for any specific case. Sometimes, for example, I only need 2-3 chat messages to give instructions to the parent on what to feed the baby, what to do if the child vomits, or how to quickly bring down a fever.
What are the cases where digital care is suitable?
Telemedicine in pediatrics can be used both for advice on the proper raising of a child and for a timely response when a child is sick. Many of the questions that parents ask during routine consultation can be answered fully remotely thanks to telemedicine. When a child is sick, it is often necessary to react quickly, because of the rapid development of symptoms. Telemedicine allows parents to receive accurate and prompt instructions on how to improve their child’s condition during the waiting time for an available doctor’s appointment. Telemedicine is indispensable when changing and correcting therapy, with an already established diagnosis. It is also applicable in chronic conditions management, and when it is necessary to rely on test readings. Since there are not a lot of pediatric specialists and they are mostly concentrated in big cities, for people living at a greater distance, remote diagnostics often save hundreds of kilometers of travel to the doctor’s office. For children with chronic diseases, telemedicine allows remote control of the condition and saves parents time and stress.
For which conditions is telemedicine most often used?
Proper Baby Care
With the newborn come thousands of questions about its proper care and development. In the first year, we pediatricians meet the parents and the baby every month. During a consultation (in addition to the routine examination of the baby) we also answer dozens of questions that the parents worry about. Telemedicine cannot completely replace a live clinical examination, but thanks to it, parents can get answers to their concerns much faster and without wasting time waiting in front of the doctor’s office.
When children start attending daycare or kindergarten, they tend to get sick very often. The immature immune system in contact with other children is the cause of frequent infections in early childhood. The first encounter with pathogens is usually accompanied by an illness, which in children’s bodies develops as violent inflammatory reactions. They are the main cause of concern for parents. In case of high fever, barking cough, vomiting, or another alarming symptom, it is a great relief for them to make quick contact with the doctor through online consultation without having to transport the sick child to a medical center. If during the online consultation the pediatrician finds that the condition is serious, he/she can refer the child for an ambulatory examination or even hospital treatment.
Children with chronic diseases
During childhood, several chronic diseases require frequent medical control. Our task as children’s specialists is to achieve good disease control with the gentlest therapy so that the child has a good quality of life and reaches its maximum physical potential, despite the disease. This requires frequent examinations followed by a test reading by pediatricians. The therapy often has to be changed and/or recalculated, not only according to the development of the disease but also according to the children’s weight. With the ability to send laboratory and imaging tests, digital health applications like Medrec:M provides an excellent solution in these situations. By using the app, you will also have constant and easy control of chronic diseases.
Medrec:M to help with the little ones‘ health management
Telemedicine software solutions like Medrec:M enable the doctor-patient relationship by giving the pediatrician several options for timely diagnosis. By digitizing the medical practice with Medrec:M Clinic in combination with the mobile application for patients – they both make the perfect environment for the creation and development of telemedicine. You can request a demo of Medrec:M Clinic here to start the digital transformation of your practice with maximum efficiency.
An overwhelming number of online consultations are made by parents traveling abroad. There are often months of waiting time for an examination by a specialist. Online consultation, although it cannot always replace an in-person clinical examination, it helps parents navigate the child’s condition by making an action plan. Remote examinations also allow parents to quickly and easily connect with a child specialist, regardless of distance. Thanks to telemedicine, I, as a pediatrician, feel more peaceful about my little patients.
Author: Dr. Tanya Andreeva, pediatrician and rheumatologist