Telemedicine to Ensure Women’s Right to Health
Home > Health > Analysis

Telemedicine to Ensure Women’s Right to Health

Photo by:   pixabay , hillside7
Share it!
Sofía Garduño By Sofía Garduño | Journalist & Industry Analyst - Thu, 12/01/2022 - 11:21

The COVID-19 pandemic limited social interactions between health professionals and patients. During this time, telemedicine helped to deliver medical attention to the population. This trend is now being leveraged to continue democratizing healthcare. For women, in particular, telemedicine is allowing mothers and caregivers to prioritize their well-being along with that of their loved ones. Moreover, technology is helping women to be continuously surveilled by health professionals.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic boosted the use of telemedicine as the sanitary crisis forced health systems to rapidly adapt. While the risk of contagion has decreased considerably, the popularity of telemedicine continues to increase as the global telemedicine market size is expected to reach US$380.3 billion by 2030, according to Grand View Research. “As a result of the pandemic, people have been able to value and appreciate first-hand the benefits of telemedicine,” said Rafael García, CEO and Founder, Ever Health, to MBN

 

Telemedicine has increased accessibility to health services as it can surpass any geographical barrier. The lack of health professionals in certain areas can be addressed through this tool as now 84 percent of doctors in Mexico are connected to the internet. Among them, 80 percent use it in their professional practice, according to PwC. “Today, more than ever, it is imperative to use healthcare resources optimally and not waste any available minute of the healthcare teams' time. Physicians' time and the infrastructure needed to care for patients are limited and costly resources that we as a society cannot afford to waste,” said Felipe Rodríguez, CEO, CERO.ai, to MBN

 

Telemedicine has also allowed patients to choose whether to receive treatment from a local or a foreign doctor. Latin American countries can leverage this possibility as the region shares a language and has similar health profiles, according to Guillaume Corpart, Managing Director, Global Health Intelligence.

 

For some specialists, it is also valuable to see patients in their home environments, such as allergists and neurologists. Moreover, family members can be present during an online consultation despite being far away from the patient, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. 

 

Overall, telemedicine has helped to address specific needs of multiple segments of the population and women have been highly benefited by this. Over 60 percent of telemedicine users are women between 25 and 44 years of age, as reported by CoSE, and through telemedicine, health services can be offered with a gender-based perspective that can support the improvement of women’s healthcare. For example, studies have shown the effectiveness of telemedicine in women with post-partum depression and anxiety, which may affect one in every five women.  

 

Safety First

 

In Mexico, 42.7 percent of crimes against women happen on the streets and 32.2 percent happen on public transportation, including sexual harassment and rape, as reported by INEGI. At the same time, households headed by women are more likely to use public transportation to get to the doctor compared to those headed by men, according to the Gender Observatory. This situation inevitably puts women at risk as 98 percent of Mexican women have been victims of sexual violence and harassment in public transportation. Consequently, 76 percent of women feel insecure when using public transportation in the country. 

 

Telemedicine helps to address transportation barriers and promote care access. In 2021, over 20 million telehealth consultations took place in Latin America and 67 percent of them were consultations for women. By being able to reach a health professional without having to transport to a hospital or clinic, women avoid becoming victims of violence. In 2019, 27.2 percent of Mexican women over 18 years of age living in urban areas suffered violence in public spaces, including public transportation. However, in 2020, this number was reduced to 21.6 percent as women were forced to avoid public spaces during the sanitary crisis, as reported by INMUJERES.

 

Surveillance, Education and Motherhood

 

Telemedicine has also offered better and constant patient surveillance. This is important especially for pregnant women who need to be monitored constantly, especially if suffering from high arterial blood pressure or diabetes. Constant communication with health professionals also enables patients to be educated regarding their condition. “With the technological revolution, we could help provide patients with education and help them achieve self-management to decongest the healthcare systems,” said María Jesús Rojo, CEO, Social Diabetes, to MBN.   

 

Technology is now being leveraged to address women’s health beyond reproduction. The “femtech” industry, which is the conglomerate of software and technology companies that address women’s biological needs, continues to accelerate public awareness, company formation and funding. This market’s estimated value currently ranges between US$500 million and US$1 billion, according to McKinsey.

 

The use of telemedicine by different population sectors also helps women to be involved in the medical care of their family members without having to sacrifice other responsibilities. Telemedicine has allowed mothers to be available at any time in case their children feel sick during school, without having to compromise other professional or family responsibilities. “Through technology, we provide a service during school hours from Monday to Friday so that when a need arises, an appointment with a professional can be scheduled. Simultaneously, parents receive a text message informing them of the situation and inviting them to join the virtual medical appointment,” said Rafael García, CEO and Founder, Ever Health, to MBN.

 

Photo by:   pixabay , hillside7

You May Like

Most popular

Newsletter