Witnessing accident cases, children crying after a shot, and patient transporters pushing stretchers and wheelchairs will increase hospital anxiety. Who doesn’t want to stay healthy? But at the same time, nobody enjoys and wants to experience this. Therefore opting for the best telemedicine appointment is an ideal means to remain healthy.
What is telemedicine?
Telemedicine is a substitute for in-person clinic visits in some medical conditions. It is as same as a traditional doctor’s visit, except the caregiver here is not physically present and talks to you via video conference call. Telemedicine adds so much convenience to many people’s life. How?
Read the points below.
In telemedicine visits, patients never need to;
- leave their homes or work
- go all the way to the doctor’s office,
- pay for charged parking,
- wait for hours outside the doctor’s office
Other than comfort, convenience, and time-saving perspectives, Telemedicine is one of the rapidly growing medical practices for many reasons.
Let’s explore this further.
For what types of health concerns is telemedicine a preferred option?
A variety of medical conditions are curable under the telemedicine service, including
- Annual wellness visit
- Routine checkups
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Cough or cold
- Morning sickness
- Sleeping disorders
- Viral infections
- Medication refills
- Joint pains
- Chronic conditions such as diabetes and blood pressure (if you’ve established a recurring treatment schedule)
- Follow up visits
- Nutritional advice
Telemedicine is widely used in other specialties. For instance, a surgeon might advise post-operation follow-ups to keep updated on the recovery and healing process of the patient.
A gynecologist may ask a pregnant woman (with a smooth pregnancy) to call whenever she feels sick. Or she can give telemedicine counseling sessions on birth control and STDs to educate women. An endocrinologist may discuss the lab test results with the patients via video call.
Telemedicine is still not confined to this only. The list goes on. If you’re curious to know what other potentials telemedicine has, read further.
How does telemedicine work?
With the evolution in technology, like every other industry medical industry has also evolved. People could seek healthcare using their ordinary internet connection as a medium. There are various types of telemedicine services, each of which connects people in the rural area to metropolitan physicians.
Here we briefly discuss the chief examples of telemedicine connections.
1. Networked programs
Networked connections mainly link remote health clinics to giant healthcare facilities located in metropolitan cities. There are around 200 networked telemedicine programs in the U.S., dispensing access to care in more than 3000 rural areas.
2. Point-to-point Connections
Point-to-point connections join small remote health centers into one and large central health facilities over high-speed internet. This telemedicine connection enables small or understaffed clinics to outsource medical care to specialists; its located far away from their location. Point-to-point telehealth connection is widely known for telepsychiatry, teleradiology, and urgent care.
3. Monitoring center links
This telemedicine connection only focuses on one type of telemedicine- remote patient monitoring. Monitoring center links establish a digital association between a patient’s home and a remote monitoring medical facility. These links use technology, including the internet, telephone, and mobiles. Monitoring center links are widely used to monitor cardiac, pulmonary, or fetal medical data.
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When to use telemedicine?
Telemedicine provides care for a variety of distinct medical conditions other than the ones listed above. Telemedicine services range from treatment to prevention and wellness services.
Undoubtedly, telemedicine services are versatile and a safe alternative to in-person medical visits in case of non-alarming diseases with mild symptoms.
Telemedicine services may practice when;
- You are on vacation, and your routine check-up is due.
- Your Pcp’s office is closed.
- You need to know what medical facility is appropriate for your medical issue.
- The climatic conditions are severe such as sandstorms and heavy rainfall.
- Want to know your lab test results
- You can not take the kids along or have nobody to babysit them.
- You can’t take an off from work.
- You just need a medication refill.
Therefore, telemedicine visits are ideal if convenience, comfort, time, and money savings factors are what you are concerned about the most.
Though, even with so many potential benefits, telemedicine services are limited. Moreover, it is an inappropriate option when an in-person physical assessment is needed.
Also, for health emergencies, people should visit the ER rooms of the hospitals.
How to book a telemedicine appointment?
Booking a telemedicine appointment may involve a few easy steps. A nurse may assist you by asking a few questions and directing your call to the doctor. Telemedicine usually does not require appointments. However, you may need to talk to the doctor’s assistant first, which may then redirect your call to the concerned healthcare provider.
Your healthcare provider can give you specific instructions on how to access telemedicine services. You may need technology devices such as an electronic device with advanced features for video calling-a smartphone, tablet, and wireless internet device. If you are unaware of advanced technology or have zero access to the technology, then telemedicine may not be an appropriate option for you.
Does telemedicine cover under insurance?
Your telemedicine visits may or may not fall under your insurance plan. However, all major insurance policies can cover telemedicine visits. Make sure to ask the insurance provider about the telemedicine visits. Schedule an appointment with in-network providers.
When to avoid telehealth services and should get an in-person appointment?
Telemedicine services are limited to virtual assessment. However, when a physical examination is mandatory to evaluate a patient’s condition, opting for a telemedicine visit is not wise. The barriers in telemedicine, like low internet speed, poor quality telephone devices, and not much awareness of medical terms, make it stressful for patients and doctors. Moreover, in this scenario possibility of proper diagnosis and understanding of the treatment is ineffective.
It is vital to choose the in-person visit To avoid putting your health at stake when the situation is more critical and physical assessment is mandatory.
You need to forget about telehealth visits and seek medical care in conventional (in-person visits) way, in the following conditions:
- Advanced COVID-19 symptoms
- High risk for COVID-19
- Advanced or life-threatening medical conditions
- Symptoms of heart attack
- Injury with profound bleeding
- Suspected broken bones
When you should not avoid in-person visits?
It is not necessary to visit a doctor only when you’re sick. You may book an appointment for an in-person visit with your PCP when:
- you are uncertain about your health plan
- you want to take steps toward a healthy living
- you want to get your vaccinations
- you need to go through routine check-ups
- you get weather influence
- you catch a viral infection
- you are experiencing mild body aches
- you get a minor cut or burn
Historically, the only option to receive healthcare was an in-person doctor’s visit. However, with the aid of advanced technologies seeking care right from the comfort of our homes is now possible. Today about one-third of Americans use urgent care in telehealth USA. for their routine check-ups and follow-ups. Telemedicine is easy and much more convenient than an in-person doctor’s visit. However, the need for in-person doctor’s visits is always there. Certain situations demand an in-person visit to the concerned medical professional.