Online consultation has been recently gaining more popularity as people now tend to seek for medical advise online. Consultation nowadays have been more transparent and accessible for everyone and more cost efficient, as some online consultation services offer medical advise for free. Studies have shown that online consultation has been effective in treating simple and common problems such as flu, sinusitis, urinary tract infection and even tick bites.
Having the right advise especially when you are in a remote location is very crucial if not life-saving. A very convenient way to get medical advise especially if you are an expat or a traveler. A video consultation between a patient and a doctor can save a lot of time and is more convenient for both parties.
How is Telemedicine and online doctor consultation being used today?
Telemedicine online doctor consultation provide ways to keep people outside of hospitals, healthy. For example, in some parts of the US:
You can send a picture of your symptoms for example, if you see a rash growing, you can send it to a dermatologist so it can be evaluated.
You can get in touch with your doctor and follow up after post op surgery.
You can send your doctor your blood sugar levels for evaluation. If your blood is found to have Irregular blood sugar levels, an alert to the doctor’s staff would be generated and you would be called in for an immediate check-up to prevent complications.
If you are hypertensive, your doctor can track your progress daily when you wear a heart monitor and send the results.
Why do people resort to Telemedicine or consulting doctors online?
1. Increased remote access.
We all know that medical help in rural areas are very limited. Having accessible online consultation has helped many people get the medical advise they need that they normally would not have been possible because of their remote location.
2. Convenience and efficiency.
Instead of traveling to the clinic or hospital and waiting in line for your term, online doctor consultations have helped many in avoiding these situations especially if the person needing a consult is very busy and has no time to go out.
3. Second opinions.
Patients sometimes need second opinions to remove their doubts. Having the medical record ready like MRI results and X-ray is very helpful in having them reevaluated for a second opinion. This greatly helps patients in continuing the proper course of treatment or get an alternative advise if the diagnosis varies.
4. Cost and efficiency.
Doctors charge notably less when giving medical advise online as compared to a clinic consultation since they can give advise in whatever setting they may be, even if it is not a formal one.
With all the good things that come with telemedicine and online doctor consultations, there are also limitations. It is hard to completely diagnose a rare or difficult disease. Tests need to be done for some problems and would result in the patient going to the hospital anyway. Having the doctor be able to physically examine a patient is always better than an online consult so make sure to consider all of these factors when consulting online.