While telemedicine may feel like an uncertain trend to some people, the truth is that it is truly changing the way patients interact with their medical care. While telemedicine – that is, the combination of telecommunications technology with medical or diagnostic advice – has been around for about a hundred years, it is experiencing a massive boom thanks to the proliferation of smartphones. There are many reasons why using telemedicine is one of the best decisions you can make as a patient, but we’ve gathered some of the most important ones here.
1. Flexible Appointment Times
If you’re a busy professional, it can be really difficult to find time to see a doctor in their clinic or office. Most doctors do not offer flexible appointment times or opening hours and if you need to see someone, you might have to take time off work. Telemedicine means that you can see a doctor as and when you need to. Many operators offer flexible appointment times out of hours, so you can get the care you need without it impacting on your day-to-day routine.
2. Seeing a Doctor at Home
If you’re busy, it can be very appealing to be able to stay at home when you can. Telemedical appointments can be taken wherever you need them, with many patients opting to take them from the comfort of their own home. As well as being more convenient, telemedical appointments are far more comfortable than going to see a doctor in-person. This is especially important to people with disabilities or limited mobility, who may find it difficult to make their way to a doctor’s appointment. If you’re contagious, not going to a doctor’s office will also ensure that you don’t spread your illness further; it also means that you have less of a chance of picking up another infection if you have compromised immunity.
3. Easier Access to Records
It can be quite difficult to see a copy of your medical records if you are a patient at a regular doctor’s clinic. It often involves a lengthy process where you have to give written permission and the clinic will often only forward your records to a new medical professional, as opposed to letting you have them yourself. Telemedicine providers often give you a profile on their homepage, which will be home to your appointment notes, general medical profile and other relevant information. This can be accessed at any time by you whenever you need it and can be easily distributed to other medical professionals if needed.
4. Ability to See Specialists
When you see a telemedicine provider, they will often specialize in a certain branch of medicine – often one that is not commonly available in regular doctor’s clinics. If you need an emotional support animal letter, for example, there are many providers online who will be able to give you medical advice. Similarly, it’s very common for patients who need medical marijuana to access telemedical services, as online providers tend to be better versed in the treatment and less susceptible to unfair prejudices surrounding unconventional treatments.
5. Syncing with Other Service Providers
There are times where your telemedical provider will be unable to provide you with the expertise needed and will refer to you another specialist. If additional services such as blood tests or X-rays are required, your telemedical professional can easily refer you on to another expert. They are also able to integrate with other medical services such as your local pharmacy, sending your prescriptions straight to them so that they’re ready and waiting for you when you get there. The integration between telemedicine and other medical service providers means that your treatment path will be clear and uncomplicated as well as far more convenient.
6. Better Value Financially
There aren’t as many costs associated with telemedical practices as there are with traditional doctor’s offices. Their staffing and operational costs aren’t as high and they usually allow their employees to work in a freelance manner, meaning that their costs are lower. This translates to better savings for their patients and usually longer appointment times, so you’re getting far more bang for your buck. This also means that you will be able to see the doctor more frequently if needed, as financial concerns won’t be as pressing if you’re paying less per appointment.
All of this translates to easier, more convenient and flexible experiences for patients. When you’re ready to take the leap and change to telemedicine, you just need to make sure you have a smartphone and a good internet connection. Then, all you need to do is sit back and enjoy functional, flexible, and excellent health care. When you’ve made the change, anything else will seem far less practicable.