Wednesday, 03 June

COVID-19: Let’s develop telemedicine tools – Mahama

Former President John Mahama

Former President John Mahama has said: “The outbreak of #COVID19 has demonstrated yet again that a strong healthcare system is vital for any country”.

Access to healthcare is a human right, he said.

He added: “We have to develop telemedicine tools to support the construction and provision of modern and well-equipped health facilities across the country”.

Such tools, he noted, “will make it easier for every Ghanaian to access quality healthcare”.

“Together, we will build a future #Ghana.”


According to, telemedicine is a tool that makes healthcare more accessible, cost-effective, and that increases patient engagement – is telemedicine. Since making its debut in the late 1950s, advances in telemedicine has contributed to seniors having the choice to age in place. In addition, the patients that reside in rural areas that previously had difficulties accessing a physician can now reach them virtually.

Physicians and patients can share information in real-time from one computer screen to another. And they can even see and capture readings from medical devices at a faraway location. Using telemedicine software, patients can see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment without having to wait for an appointment. Patients can consult a physician at the comfort of their home.

The concept of telemedicine and telehealth could be still new to providers and physicians given the especially slow adoption of technology in healthcare.

However, the continuous advances in technology and healthcare innovation have greatly expands its usability. Moreover, the demand from a new generation of tech-savvy population has pushed for its rapid adoption due to convenience, cost-saving and intelligent features it brings.

It’s now a matter of time for the healthcare system, medical group, providers and even solo practitioner integrate telemedicine as part of their medical services offering.

What is Telemedicine Healthcare

Telemedicine is simply defined as “the remote delivery of healthcare services“. There are 3 common types of telemedicine, which include but not limited to:

Interactive Medicine – which allows patients and physicians to communicate in real-time while maintaining HIPAA compliance Store and Forward – which permits providers to share patient information with a practitioner in another location. Remote Patient Monitoring – which allows remote caregivers to monitor patients that reside at home by using mobile medical devices to collect data (e.g. blood sugar or blood pressure)

How is telemedicine set up?

It can be simple or complex for a provider to implement telemedicine into their practice. For solo practitioner and clinic, most just require a basic HIPAA compliant video conference software to start delivering telemedicine consultation.

For providers looking to have a more complete virtual clinic solution, they need to consider their existing workflow and incorporate the telemedicine software solution into their practice. Usually, these software need to have a waiting room, EHR and payment function.

For large medical group or hospitals, they usually require custom telehealth solutions to fit into their existing workflow to lessen the disruption of adopting telemedicine as its harder to train a large number of physicians to change their behaviour.

Besides the software part, it’s adivisable for the provider to do due diligence on the telehealth regulations, and reimbursement policy for their country or state, which will be discussed later in this article.

Organizations will have to change operationally and have knowledge of the regulations, legalities, and technological aspects of implementing telemedicine. Many organizations decide to partner with a telemedicine company to make the transition and implementation easier.