With advances in technology, there are more opportunities than ever to get your health care needs met with telemedicine. Instead of seeing a doctor in person, you have multiple options of consulting with your doctor, getting diagnoses, and managing your treatment all by using telemedicine. Whether you’re emailing with questions or having a video consultation with your doctor, telemedicine allows patients like you to access health care without stepping foot outside your house. Here are some guidelines to help you choose between using telemedicine and seeing a doctor in person.

Choose telemedicine if you:

Live in a rural area

Folks residing in rural areas used to miss out on getting the health care they needed if their doctor (or specialists) were too far away from their homes. However, with telemedicine, patients can access their medical professionals without having to figure out how to get to appointments. So, even if you live in a rural area, your health care needs can be met no matter how remote your residence is (or how limited the health care options are in your area).

Don’t have reliable transportation

If you don’t have access to reliable or consistent forms of transportation, getting to and from doctor’s appointments or trips to the hospital can be complicated and challenging. Instead, with telemedicine, you can contact your health care professionals even if you don’t have a way to physically get to an appointment. This is also a better option if you don’t have funds to spend on transportation or travel, since paying for public transportation can sometimes put a strain on your finances. Telemedicine can make getting health care both an easier and cheaper process for you.

Have mobility issues

Even if you have access to a handicap parking permit, it can often still be a challenge to get to the doctor’s office if you have mobility issues. Telemedicine is a great option if it’s too difficult for you to get yourself out of the house for appointments, because you can conduct all of your dealings with your medical professionals without ever having to leave your home.

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There are many reasons why using telemedicine rather than in-person doctor’s visits might benefit you.

Don’t have time to make for an appointment

If you’re extremely busy and just don’t have time to make it to a doctor’s appointment, telemedicine allows you to schedule communications with your doctor only when it fits into your schedule. Plus, you don’t have to spend time traveling to the appointment or waiting in a doctor’s office. It’s also less time-consuming, because you can just email your doctors with questions or concerns instead of scheduling an in-person appointment.

Don’t have access to specific specialists or teams

Patients used to be limited to whatever specialists were in their area. But with telemedicine, you can access any specialists or health care teams that you might need for your particular treatment. That way you’re able to connect with the very best medical professionals for your specific needs – all without having to leave your home!

Can monitor your symptoms/condition remotely

If your doctor needs to be keeping a close eye on your health, telemedicine can be a great way for them to monitor you. There are devices that can be used to transfer your data directly to your doctor (like your blood glucose levels, pacemaker updates, etc.), so they can keep track of your data without you having to make constant trips into the office. Also, physicians can request that you send updates to them about your progress, which allows them to monitor your overall health even from a distance and helps them provide necessary follow-up advice.

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Some conditions might require in-person doctor visits rather than solely relying on telemedicine appointments.

See a doctor in person if you:

Have a condition that needs close in-person monitoring

There are a few reasons you might want to see a doctor in person rather than connecting remotely through telemedicine. If you have a condition or diagnosis that makes it necessary for your doctor to monitor you in person, telemedicine might not be the right option for you. Sometimes there are tests or physical determinations that need to be made with an in-person office visit.

Want face-to-face contact for a better connection

If you’d like to make sure you’re forming a strong connection with your doctor, you might feel it’s necessary to see a doctor in person. This type of face-to-face contact can be essential if an element of trust is pertinent to your treatment or your overall wellbeing.

Aren’t comfortable using technology

You don’t have to be a computer expert to benefit from telemedicine. However, if you’re uncomfortable using computers or smartphones for email or video chats, you might feel more confident sticking to in-person visits.

Your insurance only covers in-person appointments

It’s a possibility that some insurance plans only cover in-person visits. While this is not common (most insurance companies can reduce costs through telemedicine measures), you should check with your insurance company to see if only in-person visits are covered under your plan before you start using telemedicine options.

Whether you want to access your health care team using telemedicine or you’d rather see your doctor in person, there are many options to choose from to make sure you’re getting the very best care possible.