Telemedicine is a brand-new initiative redefining the way patients in the U.S. approach health care. It was actually introduced in the 1960s as a way of connecting remotely located patients with medical professionals via phones, and despite not really resembling its former self any longer, the name seems to have stuck. In its modern incarnation, telemedicine is based entirely around digital technology, a field that has witnessed unprecedented development in recent decades. It is now possible to communicate with anyone in the world in a matter of minutes; on top of that, we can now stream our favorite films, television shows, and music instantaneously. Telemedicine provides this same on-demand approach to health care, allowing patients to connect with doctors at their own leisure, and facilitating clinical visits in the comfort of the patient’s own home.
There are numerous benefits to telemedicine for both patients and doctors alike. In the first instance, it saves both parties time. Patients no longer have to plan whole days around trips to their doctor’s office; for many people, it takes a lot of effort to visit the doctor, and this problem is only compounded if you happen to live far away from a medical professional. On the flip side, not having to schedule patients for extended visits mean that doctors can see more of them during their working day, as well as saving on costs of admin work. They can also enlist the help of the patient for diagnostic experiments, via the use of particular apps or regular check-ins. This enables doctors to get a broader view of the patient’s symptoms, and also provides peace of mind for the patient; we all know that symptoms never seem to manifest during those 20 minutes we’re inside the doctor’s office!
But that’s not to say that the rise of telemedicine eclipses the need for face-to-face visits with a doctor. Telemedicine is a fantastic tool to be used in conjunction with consultations, particularly at the start of treatment, where patients are mostly concerned with explaining their symptoms to their new doctor. But it is not a replacement for traditional medicine as such. Thus, the question becomes: when exactly should you choose telemedicine over regular doctor visits? This is a crucial question for patients and potential patients to ask themselves, and knowing the correct answer can make all the difference for your medical treatment.
The main advantage of telemedicine, and the one that will likely be the deciding factor of how it’s utilized by individual patients, is its on-demand nature. In this way, it follows in the footsteps of platforms like Netflix and Spotify, which provide the same service for films and music respectively. If you have a pressing or concerning medical problem, telemedicine can help you get a diagnosis quickly; for example, if you have symptoms that come on suddenly and are worrying you, you can easily look to telemedicine in order to receive a fast diagnosis. Obviously, this is not a replacement for the emergency room, and if the symptoms are particularly debilitating, that’s the first place you should head. But telemedicine can be remarkably effective for those symptoms that fall in between – ones that you don’t want to leave any later, but aren’t serious enough to take to the hospital.
Telemedicine can also be useful for a second opinion, or if you don’t have complete faith in your local doctor or physicist. It helps patients branch out and connect with doctors all over the country, or even the world. This means that patients aren’t tied to their local health care provider, and have a number of options available when selecting a specialist from a family doctor referral. This can provide great peace of mind for many patients, regardless of their condition. When it comes to themselves and their families, every person wants the very best health care they can get their hands on.
Another time to use telemedicine over regular doctor visits is when you’re ordering or reordering a prescription of some kind. We all know what a hassle it is to return to the doctor’s office every time a a prescription needs refilling – but with telemedicine, you can avail of some home delivery prescriptions ordered from the comfort of your living room. Providing you suffer from a qualifying condition, sites like MMJ Recs will dispatch a medical marijuana identification card to you, meaning you can utilize the medicine. Emotional support animals are another form of progressive health care sweeping the nation, relieving patients from symptoms of common mental health disorders. To avail of an emotional support animal, you require what’s known as an ESA letter, which you can also procure via telemedicine, on a site like Moosh.
All in all, telemedicine can be a great asset in the field of health care, and the more patients get familiar with it, the more they’ll trust and use it. Hundreds of telemedicine-based apps are available on a range of devices, so if you’re interested in seeing how telemedicine can benefit you, download some and start trying them out today!