A Skeptics Guide To Telehealth
At one point or another, you will have probably visited the doctor’s office or your local hospital to receive treatment for an illness.
You’ve probably also accompanied someone else to an appointment, or visited someone to keep them company during their hospital stay.
This is a normalized part of our society.
It is usually our first port of call when we are unwell ourselves, and our first recommendations to others who may need to seek medical advice, too.
But what if I told you there was another option?
According to HealthcareWeekly, telehealth, sometimes known as telemedicine, is a term used to explain the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients via telecommunication channels such as web and mobile platforms.
It removes the need for face-to-face communication by using the digital revolution in the medical industry to directly benefit patients.
When you have spent your entire life visiting medical-specific establishments, however, letting that go isn’t easy, and being skeptical of the practice is completely normal.
If you’re one of those people who thinks technology simply shouldn’t be involved with certain parts of our society, we completely understand.
We also want to help open minds and make people realize that this isn’t as scary as you may initially think it is.
This is why we’ve created a comprehensive guide to hopefully reassure you of telehealth communication and its place in the healthcare industry.
It’s Covered By Health Insurance
You might think that a digital service will not be covered by the same medical insurance you use for your in-house visits with your doctor, but this isn’t necessarily the case.
The telemedicine market has been continuously growing over several years, and is now a popular choice for many people for several different reasons, something insurance companies have taken note of.
In fact, 38 states have passed bills that ask insurance companies to cover telemedicine in one way or another, meaning your insurance may already provide you with access to a telemedicine service.
Some of the largest health insurance companies in the U.S have gone one step further, with Humana, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and United Healthcare now offering telemedicine as part of their coverage across all 50 states.
It’s Not Just For Young People
When we think about technology, we assume the market is geared towards younger generations, often millennials. With telemedicine, however, this isn’t necessarily the case.
The diverse nature of telemedicine app and website developers mean that there are services out there targeted towards people with a whole host of different ailments.
An increasingly common use of telemedicine apps and developments within the industry as a whole is to make the management of chronic conditions easier.
Using these apps, patients with conditions like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and even cancer can juggle their various medical needs all in one place.
This includes doctors visits, tests, medications, and even meal planning to make sure they are maintaining a diet that helps to prevent a decline in their current condition.
People with chronic conditions can also use medical video calls to contact a wide range of different specialists from the comfort of their home, avoiding unnecessary costs and visits when they have a flare up from said condition.
In fact, one study showed that telehealth was associated with up to a 30 percent reduction in hospital admissions for patients with heart failure and diabetes, two conditions that most popularly affect older adults.
It’s Just As Effective As In-Office Visits
A doctor is not automatically better equipped to treat you because they can see you in person during a face-to-face visit.
You may be surprised to hear that a number of different fields within the medical industry are finding telemedicine care just as effective as in-office visits.
Dermatologists are just one of these fields, with practitioners using this innovative technology to generate a diagnosis and treatment plan for acute and chronic skin disease without seeing the person face-to-face.
Dermatologists have also found that telemedicine has made their service more accessible to those who need treatment.
The mental health industry has also found telemedicine a revolutionary, and well-needed, addition to their services.
This addition has allowed patients with disabilities and those living in rural areas, among others, to access services that they would have previously been denied.
It also helps to strengthen the relationship between therapist and patient, encouraging a more honest dialogue that leads to faster treatment and effective, long lasting improvements.
It’s More Flexible Than Traditional Medical Services
To access traditional medical services, you often have to wait weeks for an appointment, followed by an even longer wait to see a specialist at the hospital.
For those who’re looking for the most efficient solutions to their medical problems, however, this isn’t good enough. It’s probably not good enough for anyone, in retrospect.
In fact, according to Digital Authority Partners, 77 percent of consumers are going online to book medical appointments. From this, we can assume that many people are looking for faster alternatives to their current treatment plan, with telemedicine a popular compromise.
This isn’t just good for healthcare patients, however; it also allows healthcare professionals to take charge of their own specialities, instead of being tied down to a single hospital.
This allows them to treat more patients from more diverse backgrounds, ensuring that those who cannot access traditional medical facilities still have an equal access to healthcare.
As you can see, while the telehealth industry can initially seem overwhelming and unnecessary, it has a number of benefits that can improve the lives of millions of patients in the U.S and internationally.
It allows for compromises that enable vulnerable people who may otherwise be left with no options to have access to the healthcare that they deserve.
But it isn’t just for those people.
If you are middle-aged, otherwise healthy, and want a convenient alternative to traditional medical facilities, then this could be for you, too!
Why not join the growing number of people turning to telehealth applications to handle their healthcare needs today to see if it works for you?