The internet has brought revolutionary changes to how we live our lives. Need groceries? Visit a website and order right to your front door. Want to see your best friend’s face even though they’re hundreds of miles away? You can do that. But what about a task that’s never fun to take on – can you go your doctor digitally?
Thanks to telemedicine, you can. Let’s learn more about telemedicine including exactly what it is, what it incorporates, and what it’s used for. Telemedicine is already making an impact in getting people treated quickly and efficiently in an overburdened healthcare market, what can it do for you?
Telemedicine is healthcare related services that use digital and telecommunication technology compared to traditional in-person doctor visits. Essentially telemedicine is doctor appointments or therapies through online video conferencing or other telecommunications.
Telemedicine is often confused with telehealth, but while telehealth focuses on a wide range of remote healthcare services, it’s best to think of telemedicine as an electronic replacement for in-person appointments.
Advantages of Telemedicine
Less Hassle – It’s a hassle to call out of work, drive to the doctor’s office, sit in the waiting room, get an exam, and then process your exam, especially when it might be something as simple as a question about your medication. Telemedicine can turn a 3-hour ordeal into a 20 minute task.
More Efficient Healthcare – Because there’s less hassle on your doctor’s office too, the entire office is more streamlined. Doctors can save hours on missed appointments, quick visits that require mountains of paperwork, and other menial tasks that would be quick work on a digital platform.
Broader Coverage – You might not be willing to go to the doctor if you live in a rural area that’s miles away from town but you won’t have any problem going into your living room and turning on your computer. Telemedicine has given more rural and remote residences fast and efficient access to health care.
Disadvantages of Telemedicine
More Difficult Diagnosis – Many times a doctor needs to physically see a patient for initial diagnosis and care.
Can’t be Used for Diagnostics – Any required diagnostics like blood or urine tests cannot be accomplished through telemedicine (yet.)
When is Telemedicine Used?
While telemedicine can be used for a variety of healthcare tasks, it is best used for:
Preventive care – You can use telemedicine in preventive care situations like helping a patient to quit smoking.
Follow-ups – Many follow ups are quick, routine, and can be easily accomplished through telemedicine.
Managing Ailments and Medication– Telemedicine is useful if you have a quick question about your medication or treatment.
Schools – Many school systems have on-call medicine right in the nurse’s office to quickly take care of sick or inured students.
Assisted Living centers – Senior and assisted living centers have a high volume of residences that require regular medical care or hospital visits. Any time a senior citizen leaves a protected home they’re more likely to acquire a secondary condition or infection.
Finding a Telemedicine Practice or Routine
Telemedicine is growing quickly and could be the savior of America’s slow-moving healthcare system. If you think telemedicine is right for you talk to your doctor or insurance to find out what options you have and what telemedicine can do for you.