By Meghan Bailey
How telemedicine is making health care convenient
All too often, many people live with a lingering symptom, whether it is a cough that has lasted too long or a rash that won’t go away. You know that you should have it checked by a medical professional, but the thought of taking a day off of work, waiting in an office watching Netflix—only to be called in at a pivotal moment in the show—sounds terrible enough to stick it out, but sticking it out could cause a long-term problem. That cough could turn into phenomena; that rash could be a sign of a serious issue. But what immediate options do you have besides going to the emergency room? That option is telemedicine and its available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Telemedicine is not a separate medical specialty, but an extension of care that you can utilize in the convenience of your home to help combat common health symptoms. The field of telemedicine isn’t a new concept; in fact, doctors have been using it for years. No matter your geographical location. You can now see a doctor face-to-face on your smartphone or computer. Just like in person, the medical professional can assess through a prescreening health assessment prior to your visit, check for swollen glands, sore throats and other symptoms, and prescribe antibiotics if needed.
Telemedicine is also advancing at a rapid rate. “The technology that telemedicine has is beyond what anyone could have imagined just five years ago,” said Dr. Warren Volker. “Today, patients can be sent home with remote monitoring tools to help regulate a chronic condition, and families can be armed with tools that plug into their computer to help pediatricians look in a child’s ears or throat. The rise of convenience and ability to deliver a better patient experience is one of the many reasons why telemedicine is here to stay.”
Society’s need for faster and more convenient care, combined with the shortage of medical professionals, especially primary care providers, has led to the many consumer-based telemedicine platforms on which you can see a doctor for a flat fee. Also, most insurance plans are adopting a telemedicine benefit, which is validating this form of access and can help keep people healthy and out of the hospital.
More than half of millennials don’t have a primary care doctor. Most of the time they do not see a medical professional for their health concerns. Telemedicine is allowing those who do not have an established primary care provider to access care quickly and conveniently.
Telemedicine is eliminating barriers and improving access to care. It’s the new way to access medical care for everyday needs, all while not having to take time off work, or drive to see a doctor when you don’t feel like getting out of your pajamas.