What is telemedicine, and as a patient, how can I access it?

The Internet makes it possible to reach any resource in just a few taps and clicks. With so many technologies,  even getting virtual medical care is even possible. Now we can see the doctor while lying on our comfortable sofa. 

Undoubtedly, these resources and platforms aid so much convenience in our lives. Many people,  for their routine check-ups and usually sickness, opt to book telemedicine appointments to get the care

Let us discuss telemedicine and how to use it as a patient.

What is telehealth?

Telehealth offers you an opportunity to get healthcare using internet devices. It substitutes the need for in-person doctor’s visits to some extent. The means of getting medical care over the internet include telephone conversations with your physician or nurse practitioners, sending an email request for medication refills, or using video conference calls to get the diagnosis and treatment plans for your symptoms.

Although telemedicine made its debut in the 1950s, the great pandemic gives it the hype the facility deserves. Telemedicine promotes better healthcare in the community. Because it offers convenient healthcare,  motivating people to check on their health. It is feasible for people to talk to the doctor at their available time. Therefore, they may seek medical help when it is highly needed and when they need to maintain a healthy life.  

What are the benefits of telemedicine?

The significant advancement of telemedicine establishes a good platform for seeking healthcare in certain conditions or for specific treatments. Even people find it a better option than an in-person visit for some situations. Telemedicine adds so much comfort to many lives. For telemedicine, people should not need to take time off from work, pick up their children from school and drop them off at a babysitter (if they are blessed to have one), or deal with parking and waiting outside the doctor’s office. With telemedicine, you get quality care without all this hassle. 

Patients tend to be more inclined to their health when they receive adequate medical care without stepping out of their homes. Easy access to care makes people more health conscious. They may ask about any medical issue by dialing a physician’s number. 

Therefore telemedicine is a prominent source to get adequate care. However, it also increases better patient outcomes. 

On the other end of the spectrum, telehealth improves the quality of in-person visits. Since those who face unusual or viral ailments opt for telemedicine visits reduces the number of patients outside the doctor’s offices. It also leaves a doctor who conducts in-person visits in a better position by dividing a load of patients, which helps a doctor treat patients without much stress.

What types of appointments are appropriate for a telemedicine visit

Only the scenario that puts a limitation on telemedicine appointments is when an in-depth physical examination of a patient is needed. Other than this situation, telemedicine provides almost all types of appropriate arrangements. It means telemedicine can dispense several healthcare services for several diseases.

A great example of a telemedicine appointment is a mental or behavioral therapy session. People with psychiatric needs can discuss their mental health issues with a psychiatrist during a video call session with their psychiatrist. Even if they are uncomfortable seeing the physician, they may opt for the voice-calling option. 

Telemedicine appointments are beneficial for discussions and counseling session, such as preconception appointments for women who are expecting or trying to conceive and needs genetic counseling. 

It also aids people who are under particular long-term treatment plans. In this case, they only need to keep track of their treatment plan or medication refill. Telemedicine eases such people’s lives by allowing them to obtain the required medical services at home. 

People consider telemedicine as a combination of multiple care options. For example, if a person is diagnosed with diabetes, he needs a medication refill bi-weekly or bi-monthly, or they need to go through a lab test HbA1c to track the blood sugar level record of the previous three months. For all this, a diabetic patient visits the doctor now and then. However, telemedicine enables diabetic patients to receive many of these services at their homes. They only need to go to the lab for blood samples, and even the lab results can also discuss in the telemedicine appointments.

How does telemedicine service work?

No one can deny the benefits of telemedicine. However, there are situations that pit limitations on telemedicine appointments and need to address in the hospital’s ER room. 

Emergencies such as stroke, cuts, burns, broken legs, heart attacks, migraines, or x-rays can never cure over a video call with your physician. 

You can book a follow-up virtual appointment after getting the treatment at the hospital in-person. 

Telemedicine is helpful in many different health conditions. 

Telemedicine works on telemedicine connections, which are listed below.

1. Networked programs

This program connects remote clinics in rural areas to the giant healthcare facilities located in the metropolitan city. 

2. Point-to-point connections

it enables a remote clinic, which has less number of staff and specialized physicians. This program is typical for telepsychiatry, teleradiology, and urgent care services. 

3. Monitoring centers links

This program creates a remote link between the patient’s home to the remote monitoring facility. It is commonly used to keep records of fetal or cardiac data.

As a patient how can I access telemedicine

accessing telemedicine is simple and involves only a few steps. Your physician or nurse may assist you with how to book a telemedicine appointment. A patient can call the medical facility, and one of the hospital representatives may ask a few questions to analyze the condition. He then redirects the call to the concerned nurse practitioner or an assistant physician. The physician or nurse may examine you by asking about your feelings and symptoms. You need to answer the questions correctly for the correct diagnosis. 

For a telemedicine appointment, you need some electronic devices such as a smartphone, high-speed wifi, and a camera for video calling with the physician.  

The following conditions can readily address over the telemedicine appointment.

  • Cough and wheezing
  • Fever
  • Viral infections
  • Sore throat
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anxiety issues
  • Psychiatric needs
  • Birth control counseling
  • Constipation
  • Sinus
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Medication refills

How to conduct telemedicine appointments 

A patient can take telemedicine services from the following physicians 

  • Dermatologists
  • Pediatrics
  • Gynecologist
  • General Physician
  • Family physician
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Endocrinologist

Wrap up

As more and more friendly technologies are coming up, patients are now comfortable with living with these technologies. People love experimenting with new things and always welcome practices that bring convenience. Telemedicine grabs rapid fame because of its unique features, such as cost-effectiveness, time-saving, easy access, and comfortable and reliable care. 

Telemedicine utilizes technology to provide care to almost everyone. It also promotes better patient outcomes. Virtual urgent care in Michigan and other facilities continue to add more ease and comfort in many people’s lives.

Undoubtedly, telemedicine appointments can tackle more and more advanced diseases, especially those that previously required a physician’s visit. However, patients should prefer telemedicine for serious concerns rather than for minor or seasonal medical conditions. 

 The need for in-person visits to the doctor’s office is crucial to get a better diagnosis of chronic or complex diseases. 

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