As you’ve no doubt noticed if you’ve needed medical attention in recent memory, the medical world is constantly changing. These changes are largely characterized by an increasing focus on technology and the numerous ways it can act to advance the medical field.
One such innovation is the advent of telemedicine, or the exchange of medical information from one site to another through electronic communications. A rapidly growing field, there are many ways telemedicine can help bring you and a doctor together more efficiently. Here are nine advantages of telemedicine over other conventional forms of medical treatment:
1. You’ll have access to plenty of options
One of the best advantages of telemedicine is its flexibility. Depending on your current healthcare setup, you’ll likely be able to use telemedicine for all sorts of things you used to have to do in person. For example, your doctor can now forward diagnostic images such as X-rays and your medical history to the telemedicine doctor for them to review.
Based on the information they’ve received, the telemedicine doctor may have enough information to make a diagnosis and even create the appropriate treatment plan. Regardless, they always have the option to contact you or your doctor for additional information. Working as a team, you can make a plan of how you would like to follow up with treatment going forward.
2. Remote patient monitoring systems exists
If you require tests or physical examinations, you can still benefit from telemedicine by using one of their remote treatment plans. These systems are set up in order to sustain a constant collection and processing of data. Accumulated and sent to healthcare agencies for interpretation, these systems mean you can easily get your latest health information over to your doctor.
Even if you can’t leave your home, it is possible to have a nurse visit, set up all the equipment in your home, conduct the needed tests, and transmit the data to the doctor.
3. You have access to a great support system
In addition to being beneficial for treatment and diagnosis, the advantages of telemedicine offer some wonderful resources in terms of support. For example, you have easy access to specialized information and are able to get involved in online peer discussion groups.
These groups can be invaluable, especially to patients suffering from uncommon diseases that can have a very isolating effect. In addition to being encouraging and offering peace of mind, meeting people who understand the exact struggle you’re going through can do a lot to make you feel less alone.
4. You can attain more specialized treatment
Lack of access to specialized treatment is a big problem in many parts of the country and telemedicine has helped revolutionize the way doctors and patients connect. During a telemedicine consultation with a specialist, you will have a chance to tell the doctor about your medical history, ask questions and, in turn, answer any questions they have for you.
Instead of going through a doctor or nurse, direct contact with a specialist is one of the many advantages of telemedicine. This option means they can pick up on little details which might end up revealing a lot.
5. You can save money
By offering remote analysis, monitoring, and electronic data storage, telemedicine can significantly reduce many of the costs associated with healthcare service. Thinking of the larger picture, telemedicine is also important in that it can dramatically reduce non-urgent ER visits, saving the medical system money and freeing up resources for people who really need them.
6. Your overall quality of care will likely increase
The premise of telemedicine services is focused on offering patient-centered approaches that are more personal and improve timeliness of care. When patients are empowered to address healthcare issues quickly and efficiently, problems are less likely to escalate, and urgent care is more readily available when required.
7. You will save on transportation time and costs
The ability to see your doctor on your computer or mobile device means that you don’t have to shell out any extra cash for gas, parking, or public transportation. Not to mention, you get to skip the stress of rushing through traffic to make an appointment or sitting in a waiting room for what can feel like hours.
8. No need to take time off of work
Not having to go a physical doctor’s office also means that you can plan your visit at a convenient time that doesn’t require you to take time off from work. Even if your boss is understanding, taking time off in the middle of the day to make it to an appointment can easily lead to missing a whole afternoon.
Even if it is paid leave, you’ll be left with work you need to catch up on later. Telemedicine allows you to take care of your health without wasting your precious paid time off.
9. Less chance of catching a new illness
Another downside of sitting in a doctor’s waiting room is how likely you are to be surrounded by illness. It is inevitable. Although everyone does their best to prevent one patient from catching something from another, it is always possible, especially in crowded waiting rooms. Telemedicine lets you avoid this risk.