Telemedicine enables healthcare professionals to assess, diagnose and treat patients remotely through smartphones or computer screens. The practice has been around ever since the telephone but has become very common during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Virtual telemedicine has become a valuable resource in the fight to deliver effective and efficient healthcare services even as the pandemic raged on. It has become a common feature of infrastructure for medical services worldwide.
Improvements in technology and coverage by insurance have made telemedicine popular. The latter has become the best way for therapists and doctors to connect with patients during the pandemic.
With that said, telemedicine cannot totally replace face-to-face visits to the doctor, especially during severe emergencies. Yet, it offers the following undeniable benefits:
No transport costs
When one consults a doctor on a computer or mobile phone, one can save money on public transport or fuel costs and parking. Even better, we need not waste time travelling or running the risk of getting caught in a traffic jam which renders us late for appointments or getting back to work.
No need to neglect work
When it comes to the workplace, video visits or virtual consultations mostly avoid the requirement to take time away from work. You can schedule medical consultations during your break in the office or after or before work. You can have the appointment wherever and whenever you can arrange for privacy. Also, you can comply with follow-up instructions from the doctor and maintain health without missing work for even a day or wasting precious time.
Limitations of child or elder care
Many people face the responsibility of caring for young ones or the elderly. It can prove to be quite expensive to arrange for babysitters or elder care while you go for doctor consultations. Taking them along for the doctor’s visit is impractical and often impossible. Thankfully, telemedicine eliminates this challenge by permitting one to see a doctor while maintaining responsibilities to the family.
Options for on-demand service
Telemedicine is being offered by more and more medical practitioners. So you can go to your regular doctor virtually. If that is not possible, there is always the availability of on-demand virtual services in the marketplace. The latter may not be able to treat every condition, but they can combat a wide array of problems. Even, it may be possible to avail of insurance for this kind of care.
Access to care by specialists
Sometimes, patients who need medical attention will have to travel long distances from remote locations. Instead, telemedicine enables its primary care physician to leverage virtual technology to access treatment through specialists. For severe treatments like virtual cardiac rehab, we want to consult the best doctors and not just the nearest.
Less exposure to germs
Waiting at a doctor’s office exposes you to many germs and microbes because they are often filled with sick patients. Though precautions may be taken to maintain sanitary conditions, it may not always be possible in crowded and congested waiting rooms. With telemedicine, you can complete a medical consultation at home, avoiding the risk of becoming infected and passing the infection on to others.
Online psychiatric care
It has become impossible for many patients to gain face-to-face care from doctors during the Covid-19 pandemic. Telemedicine has permitted the provision of care to patients experiencing depression, anxiety, stress, and other issues of mental health.
Help for chronic conditions
Transmission of readings by at-home monitoring tools can signal potential emergencies, worsening health, or new symptoms. This permits quick interventions that can be lifesaving. Doctors can also monitor positive lifestyle changes like diet and exercise of the patient as well as enforce follow-up like virtual cardiac rehab.
In sum, now that we are aware of the advantages of telemedicine, it becomes more reasonable to adopt it in medical practice. Virtual telemedicine is already a multi-billion-dollar industry, and more health care providers are jumping on the bandwagon.