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Modern technology, combined with the Covid-19 pandemic, fundamentally changed how we interact with each other. This especially affected how we seek healthcare and interact with physicians. While telemedicine and telehealth have been around for a long time, it’s important to do your research and understand how it works. Here are a few things to keep in mind when seeing a doctor online. ~ Ed.
With the proliferation of smartphones and other technology over the past few decades, the way we behave and interact with each other has changed significantly. Some things are a little more convenient, like shopping or learning new skills.
Other things, like healthcare, have also transitioned into the realm of being powered by technology. Seeing a doctor online or being treated for a number of ailments (born urgent and chronic) is accessible to a larger number of people each day.
Many of these telemedicine services are available through insurance plans or offer reasonable rates to speak with a doctor remotely. If you’re interested in checking out one of these telemedicine services, read the information below to learn more about choosing one.
How Does It Work
Telemedicine is a fairly straightforward concept. In basic terms, patients speak with a doctor via a video call or telephone, and the doctor treats them remotely.
When you’re on a call with a virtual doctor, it’s crucial to communicate your symptoms and any concerns you have as accurately as possible. When preparing for your virtual visit, you should take care of a few things ahead of the appointment, such as checking your temperature, blood pressure, and oxygen levels. It will help the doctor diagnose and treat you more efficiently.
Be sure to inform them of any preexisting conditions. Ensure your computer or smartphone can handle a video call and that you have a good quality internet connection.
5 Things You Should Know About Seeing An Online Doctor
If you’re ready to get started with telemedicine, here are a few things you should know about seeing a doctor online.
Insurance And Prescription Coverage Varies
One crucial detail to remember about telemedicine is that insurance coverage can vary. Some insurance providers have a list of approved telemedicine providers that they’ll cover, while others may require deductibles to be paid prior to covering anything.
During the middle of the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, telemedicine visits were encouraged, with companies waiving fees and suggesting telemedicine for non-emergency medical concerns. Because it varies so much, the best bet is to ask your insurance provider what’s covered with telemedicine, the best places to seek telemedicine care, and how much it will approximately cost to take advantage of such services.
Prescriptions are another thing that’s governed by different state laws. Doctors can prescribe certain medications online, but there are always prohibited medications they will not provide this way.
The Doctor Will Probably Be Located In Your State
Even though you’re seeing a doctor online, you’ll most likely be speaking with a licensed doctor working within your state. Most states require that doctors are licensed to practice in the state where they’re providing telemedicine.
After all, you wouldn’t go to an unlicensed doctor in your own city! That’s why it’s likely your virtual doctor will be a practicing physician located within your state. If the doctor is from another state, they’ll more than likely have their license to practice within your own state and theirs too.
They Can Treat Chronic Conditions
Chronic medical conditions are conditions that require ongoing care, treatment plans, and medicine. Did you know an online doctor offers a convenient and easy way to help you stay on top of treating these conditions?
Take asthma, for instance. Getting treated through telemedicine gives the doctor the opportunity to help discuss treatment plans and mitigation strategies with you to help manage the condition. They can also help determine what type of prescription (like an inhaler or a steroid) may be necessary to help you. The same goes for treating diabetes and other chronic conditions.
Using your health history, current treatment plans, and consultation as a basis, an online doctor can be just as effective at helping you manage your chronic condition without the constant need to physically travel to a doctor’s office somewhere across town.
They Can Provide Urgent Care
Telemedicine is useful for providing some limited urgent care. If you’re dealing with a major cold, flu, sinus infection, bronchitis, or pinkeye, a virtual doctor’s visit is useful for both diagnosing and treating such conditions. Sometimes, an antibiotic or other medication is needed to effectively treat these types of problems, and seeing a virtual doctor brings that essential health care to you without the need to travel.
You can stay home and rest while discussing your symptoms with the doctor, eventually arriving on an appropriate treatment plan that includes any necessary prescriptions. Remember, if you are in an emergency or need emergency care, it’s best to visit the ER.
They Can Treat Mental Health Conditions
Teletherapy is another wonderful part of telemedicine that can sometimes be overlooked. Teletherapy is suitable for addressing ongoing issues, discussing treatments, and helping patients overcome anxiety or panic. For people located in some more rural or remote areas, teletherapy brings more accessibility to mental health care.
For others, it offers the opportunity to discuss your concerns with a licensed therapist from the relative safety and comfort of your own space. It’s not without its limitations, but ultimately teletherapy offers some significant benefits that help patients in a meaningful way.
Wrapping It Up
Telemedicine and seeing a doctor online aren’t merely convenient. It offers a sampling of the future of healthcare and provides us with more agency and control over our health than we’ve ever experienced.
Online doctors can effectively treat a number of conditions and prescribe medications/treatments remotely. The convenience and accessibility of this service make it incredibly useful for many people across a variety of backgrounds/medical needs.
As we move into a constantly changing future (and hopefully see an end to the Covid-19 pandemic), telemedicine is positioned to become a significant source of positive change in our modern world.
Over to you
Would you see a doctor online? Have you already done so? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.