Telemedicine has an exciting history, with its roots dating back to ancient times.
During the Roman era, there was a method of remote care. For the elders and physically weak, it was not possible to visit temples to get a checkup. Hence, they used to send representatives to the temple on their behalf. These representatives conveyed the symptoms to the doctor and then returned to the patient with a diagnosis and medicine.
Furthermore, in Africa, villagers used smoke signals to warn their neighboring villages about a disease outbreak. Hence, these records show primitive attempts at telemedicine.
The Advent of Radio Technology:
During the late 1800s to early 1900s, radio technology gained popularity. People started using telephone and radio to transmit medical knowledge. For instance, when Mr. Watson spilled acid on his pants, Alexander Graham Bell quickly used his phone to get help.
Plus, many visionaries wrote about the possibility of telemedicine. However, for the technology of that time, such an idea was far fetched.
The Joint Ventures of Indian Health Services and NASA:
When NASA conducted space flights, they soon realized the importance of telemedicine. Many doctors were worried about the effect of space and lack of gravity on the health of astronauts. Therefore, astronauts who were miles away needed to receive at least essential medical attention.
To test the technology built for telemedicine, NASA chose the remote location of the Tohono O’odham reservation. The objective was simple; NASA had to link the rural patients to the Indian Health Service hospital’s doctors. NASA’s active role in the project was from 1973 till 1977. This project was a significant success and acted as a stepping stone for further growth.
Following the project’s success, NASA and other organizations initiated and funded many similar projects. Furthermore, the project’s success fueled further research into the subject.
The Age of The Internet:
It may come as a surprise, but the internet became widely available just a while back. Hence, before its widespread use, telemedicine wasn’t feasible. Thanks to laptops, mobile phones, and the internet, we now experience telemedicine.
It is easier to monitor a patient’s vitals using modern technology. For example, by using health bands, we can obtain a patient’s heart-rate quickly. Similarly, now it is easier to get in touch with patients. Use of video calls, apps, and messaging allows doctors to easily connect with their patients.
Telemedicine is an evolving field with innovations coming in everyday. We have come a long way from sending smoke signals to nearby villages; still, what the future has in store for us is unimaginable!
However, there is one thing we know for sure: telemedicine is here to stay. At Cure Rx, we are committed to providing excellent services to ensure your optimum well-being.
From historical accounts, it is interesting to note that remote medical access was a necessity rather than a luxury. Hence, it was just a matter of time after wireless communication that remote medicine became a possibility. The field of telemedicine gained attention and funding’s after NASA made attempts at staffed space flights. After efforts and thorough research, telemedicine developed into the form we all love and know today.