Do you remember when video conferencing was the stuff of dreams and only those that could afford expensive equipment were able to take part in video conference calls? Well that’s a thing of the past. Even though using video conferencing for online doctor visits might be a bit complicated for some, technology and regulations have made a huge leap and online doctor visits are gaining a lot of popularity. For example, back in 2013 there were approximately 900 million doctor visits and 50% of those were done online. Now, that percentage is even higher.
A virtual doctor consultation is ideal for primary care checkups where patients see the doctor for a few minutes. So when we take that into consideration, we can see the advantage of cutting out the excessive time and make the most out of that short visit. But what are the other key benefits of doing a doctor visit online?
Doctor visits online are convenient for all parties
The most important benefits you gain from doing doctor visits online is convenience. Telemedicine’s aim is to connect people in rural areas and provide them with care through the use of video calls. These calls are much more convenient than traditional in-person doctor visits.
Doctor visits online are extremely handy for patients that don’t want or are not able to leave their homes for some reasons such as PTSD, they have a little baby they need to take care of or they have a chronic condition that makes going to a doctor’s office too difficult.
Before doctor visits online became popular, people had to take half the day off from work. But now they can do their doctor visit anywhere, anytime.
Virtual waiting rooms
Waiting at the doctor, in a crowded waiting room, with all the other patients is a drag. And aside from the annoying waiting, there’s also an issue of spending a significant amount of time with other sick people. This could be really dangerous for elderly who already have a weaker immune system.
So why wait in a crowded room when you can wait in the comfort of your own home?
Some platforms for online doctor visits have actually created virtual waiting rooms where patients can flip through magazines with health-related topics while they wait for the doctor. This is both educational and entertaining.
Aside from the patient being able to his doctor and vice versa, during doctor visits online, the physician is able to share medical information with the patient like previous charts, radiology scans and point on certain points of the scans in order to better explain the patient.
Furthermore, some software solutions go so far that they can even let the doctor listen to the patient’s heart beat, measure their blood pressure or even look into their ear. This way, both the patient and the doctor see the same information, the doctor and easily explain thing and the patient is even more included into their online doctor visit.
Traditional in-person appointments were a real nightmare regarding record-keeping. On the other hand, during doctor visits online, physicians are already using cameras and other tools and they are able to store patient information securely and privately. So when there’s a follow-up visit, the doctor can quickly pull up the information from the previous appointment and compare them with the new ones.
On the early start of doctor visits online, there was a growing fear that patients will miss the personal touch of the in-person visits. However, that’s unfounded. Patients have actually responded positively to online doctor visits and they feel that the doctor is paying more attention to them which makes them feel more connected.
The digital era is here and with it, a lot of changes are being brought to our life, including our health care. These changes are here to help us, make our lives easier and the health care system more efficient and to provide better experience.