Telemedicine is one of the great inventions of recent decades. This new form of medicine is improving the lives of millions of people in numerous ways. One of the major ways in which telemedicine makes the lives of patients better is that it hugely improves their choices when it comes to health care.
Here are six ways telemedicine improves a patient’s range of choice.
Geography and distance matter less than ever before thanks to the advent of telemedicine. It is now easy for patients to choose to consult with physicians in far-off locations using telemedicine apps. Telemedicine allows patients to have consultations with medical professionals in distant parts of the country or even the world. The fact that geography and distance are now so much less of an impediment means that patients have a tremendously wider range of choice of which medical practitioners they consult with. Telemedicine has made the world a much smaller place.
Telemedicine affords patients far more scope for money-saving. When using conventional medicine, patients are likely to need to pay more because they only have access to a relatively small number of medical professionals. Telemedicine opens the market up and allows patients to choose from a far wider selection of medical professionals. A market operates best when there are no barriers to entry and competition is fierce. When providers of medical treatment are operating in a highly competitive market, they are forced to provide the best service possible for the most economical price. The healthy competition that telemedicine fosters gives patients a far wider choice and makes money-saving easier than ever.
Using traditional medicine is inherently limiting in terms of the types of treatment it leaves open to a patient. When a person uses telemedicine, they have a far wider range of choices of what types of treatment they would like to avail of. This wider list of possible options includes rare, novel, and experimental treatments. Rare treatments are, by their very nature, only available from a few sources. Many groundbreaking types of medical treatment are only offered by a small handful of specialist doctors. Often a rare and experimental treatment is the best possible option for a patient. Telemedicine allows people to avail of rare and experimental treatments much more easily.
Before the advent of telemedicine, receiving medical treatment was often a very time-consuming undertaking. People had no choice but to travel long distances, wait in waiting rooms, attend multiple in-person consultations, visit pharmacies again and again, and generally devote tons of precious time to the business of receiving medical treatment. Telemedicine has changed all this. Thanks to telemedicine, patients now have the ability to choose treatment methods that are far less time-consuming, such as remote consultations. Telemedicine makes long journeys to hospitals and surgeries far less necessary in many cases; it also makes it easy to send test results over the internet. Patients have more time-saving options than ever before now thanks to telemedicine.
Avoidance of ERs and Surgeries
Prior to telemedicine exploding onto the scene, patients were forced to spend long hours queuing up in emergency rooms and doctor’s surgeries, often for quite minor injuries and ailments. Before telemedicine, there was simply no option but to report to ERs and surgeries and waste precious time waiting to be seen by a doctor. ERs and waiting rooms tend to be hothouses of germs and viruses, and many a patient has left one of these places sicker than when they arrived! Telemedicine has changed this situation for the better. Telemedicine has made it possible to perform a lot of medical consultations that previously would have required an in-person visit remotely from the comfort of your own sick bed. Having the choice to not make the time-consuming trek to a germ-filled ER or surgery has hugely improved the lives of many patients.
It used to be the case that when a person got ill to the extent that they required a visit to the doctor, they would almost certainly need to take a day off work. Even if a person was feeling good enough to work, a doctor’s appointment often meant they would need to use up a precious “sick day.” This was an unfortunate situation. Very often, the only thing necessitating that a person take the day off was the fact that they had to attend a time-consuming doctor’s appointment. Thanks to telemedicine, this situation has changed for the better. Telemedicine consultations can now be done so quickly that if a patient desires to attend work on the same day, they easily can. This gives patients the choice to stay home from work if they really need to, but also to attend work if they would prefer to do so.