The Impact of Telemedicine on Rural Health

“ The provision of healthcare services by all healthcare professionals utilizing information and communication technologies for the interchange of accurate data for diagnosis, treatment, and other purposes, where distance is a crucial component and prevention of disease and injuries, research, and evaluation, and for the continuing education of healthcare providers, all in the interests of advancing the health of individuals and their communities, is what the World Health Organization (WHO) defines as telemedicine.” The literal translation of the term “telemedicine,” which gained popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, is “healing at a distance.” Using communication networks, telemedicine is a fast-paced method of treating and diagnosing patients from anywhere in the world. The best technology for enhancing long-term health and expanding access to preventive treatment is telemedicine.

Telemedicine in India

It is a bigger matter of concern that equal distribution of healthcare services in India, In a vast country with a population of over 140 crores, has repeatedly shown to be a significant challenge for the public health management sector. Furthermore, most medical facilities in India are concentrated in cities and towns (75% of doctors work in these areas), distant from rural areas where 69% of people reside. The rural population has very few access points to primary healthcare.

Telemedicine has many benefits in India, including better patient outcomes, lower healthcare expenditures, and easier access to healthcare services.

  1. Convenience & Accessibility: Patients who live in rural or isolated areas with limited access to healthcare practitioners can benefit directly from telemedicine. It can also be advantageous for those who have mobility challenges or limitations. Without having to travel great distances or wait in waiting rooms, patients can receive treatment in the convenience of their own homes.


  1. Financial advantages: Telemedicine has the potential to reduce expenses for both patients and healthcare providers. Healthcare practitioners can cut expenses by not having to pay for a physical office, while patients can save money on travel and time away from work.
  2. Effective patient outcomes: Telemedicine can improve outpatient results, especially in the fields of mental health, perinatal care, and chronic disease management.
  3. Time-efficient: By enabling healthcare practitioners to see more patients in less time, telemedicine can save time for both patients and doctors. Patients can avoid lengthy wait periods in doctor’s offices. However, the connectivity and speed of interest connections also matter. The advantages to be listed are more at the end of the day.
  4. Lessen unofficial medical practice: The unregistered & untrained doctors are unauthorized to medical advice, prescriptions, give treatment etc. However, this is quite common in rural India, and may be lessened or eliminated with the help of telemedicine.

The fastest and least expensive method of closing the health gap between rural and urban areas may turn out to be telemedicine. Considering India’s enormous advancements in ICT (Information and communication technologies), telemedicine may be able to provide specialist medical care to even the most remote areas of the nation.

In COVID-19, Telemedicine as a Resource in Rural Areas

Marginalized success rate in rural areas may be attributed to several factors, including a low population, underuse of equipment, a lack of high-quality specialty services, a greater than average proportion of patients without formal education, geographic isolation, and a poor economic outlook. So, when rural hospitals start employing telemedicine, then there are greater opportunities of remote consultation on the doorstep which can be in-home monitoring and outsourced diagnostics analysis in rural populations. By cutting the costs for the patient, it will also decrease the number of needless trips to hospitals and clinics and lower the rate of re-admissions and costs.



Compared to in-person doctor visits, remote consultations are more effective, quicker, and less expensive. According to the Indian Institute of Public Opinion, 89% of people living in rural areas must travel at least 8 miles to receive basic medical care.5. Most of the money earned by impoverished Indian villages goes for transportation to urban hospitals, where they stay longer with their escorts. These travel-related inconveniences and shorter wait times outside of hospitals can be avoided using telemedicine. With the aid of telemedicine, consultations in remote locations are more efficient, quicker, and less costly than hospital visits.

Telemedicine is being used by rural hospitals through in-home monitoring. Lowering the number of high-risk patients (older people and those with co-morbidities) who visit hospitals. This can flatten the COVID-19 cross-contamination curve even though at present times in some way patients used to ignore common cold and flu symptoms before the current pandemic outbreak, but after the pandemic, new concerns about these symptoms. With early diagnosis is possible with the use of CDC (Centre for Disease Control And Prevention) clinical guidelines, and if necessary, care can be escalated even further. 9. Early diagnosis even at the e-clinic or via telemedicine centres.


The key to telemedicine success is preparation, perseverance, and practice. Any technology’s ability to succeed depends on a few elements, including knowledge, conceptual understanding, acquired attitudes, and talent. Although some people find telemedicine intimidating, it is crucial for improved distribution. In addition to providing a route for other nations to adopt and enhance telemedicine services that will complement and maximize the global effort of towards tele-medicine, WHO and other Global Health Organizations should come forward to encourage telemedicine technology for the rural population through innovative solutions and funding. Learn more

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