Telemedicine refers to the practice of managing patients remotely when the provider and patient are not physically present with each other. Modern technology has enabled physicians to consult with patients using HIPAA compliant video conferencing tools. Telemedicine, also known as telehealth, offers many advantages, including:
1. Best Rating
Telemedicine can give some specialist practitioners an advantage because they can see you in your home environment. For example, allergists may be able to identify clues in your environment that are causing allergies. Neurologists and physiotherapists and occupational therapists can observe you and assess your ability to navigate and take care of yourself in your home. Telemedicine is also a good way to get mental health assessment and advice.
2. Reduced Exposure
Long hours of waiting in doctor’s waiting rooms with other patients can contribute to the spread of COVID-19, influenza and other viruses. Telehealth keeps patients at home, preventing exposure to viruses and germs. It also helps protect healthcare professionals.
With telemedicine, you don’t have to go to the doctor’s office or clinic, park, walk, or sit in a waiting room when you’re sick. You can see your doctor from the comfort of your own bed or sofa. Virtual tours can be easier to fit into your busy schedule. With telemedicine, depending on your schedule, you may not even need to take time off work or make childcare arrangements.
4. Lower costs
People who use telemedicine spend less time in the hospital, providing cost savings. Also, less commuting time may mean fewer secondary expenses, such as childcare and gas. Doctors and therapists can be expensive, even for people with good health insurance. Telemedicine appointments typically cost less than in-person visits do.
5. Family connections
When you see your doctor, it is always good to have a family member who can help provide information, ask questions, and take note of your doctor’s answers. If that person lives out of town, or even across the country, telemedicine can connect your family member on the virtual tour if you allow it.
6. Doctors Are also Safe
During the pandemic, many medical offices closed or reduced their hours. Cyber security tools such as virtual private networks have enabled doctors and therapists to treat patients securely from their home offices. This access also allows doctors and patients to log in after hours and on weekends.
7. Reduced anxiety
A lot of people just don’t like going to the doctor. In some cases, phobias such as agoraphobia can prevent people from seeking treatment. Telehealth allows you to ask questions and access medical support without leaving home.
8. Slowing the Spread of Infection
Going to the doctor’s office means being around people who may be sick, often in close quarters. This can be particularly dangerous for people with underlying conditions or weak immune systems. Telemedicine eliminates the risk of picking up an infection at the doctor’s office.
9. Reduced overhead expenses
Providers who offer telemedicine services may incur fewer overhead costs. For example, they may pay less for front desk support or be able to invest in an office space with fewer exam rooms.
Regular visits with primary care practitioners such as those specializing in family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics, are essential to your family’s health. Telemedicine makes it easy to connect with a doctor or nurse practitioner. Some systems are set up so that new patients can get an appointment with the next available practitioner, which can save time.