Despite the many challenges of the pandemic, there have been some advantages. One is the increase in the availability of telehealth appointments, also called telemedicine. Telehealth allows you to have a "virtual house call" with your doctor – and you don't even have to be at home to do it.
Of course, telehealth isn't appropriate for visits requiring hands-on care or testing. You still have to go to a clinic for blood draws, injections, or X-rays. And it shouldn't be used for serious medical issues, such as a suspected heart attack, stroke, or drug overdose.
But providers can handle many primary care and specialist visits, including:
Talk to your healthcare provider about whether they offer telehealth.
Telehealth Appointments: The Future of Medicine
Don't want to take time away from summer plans to go to the doctor? You don't have to. Here are 7 benefits of telemedicine.
Have a Telehealth Appointment Virtually Anywhere
Telehealth relies on video conferencing, or in some cases, a simple phone call. So even if you can't get a babysitter, don't want to take off from work, or you're on vacation, you can still keep up with your health or address concerns in a convenient way.
Reduce Exposure to Germs and Viruses
Telehealth helped keep patients out of doctors' offices, medical centers, and hospitals during the pandemic, where the highly contagious COVID-19 virus was rampant. But think of all the other infectious diseases out there. Who hasn't sat in a waiting room listening to someone coughing and wondering if they might catch something?
Scheduling a Telehealth Appointment
Schedule a virtual visit, and chat with your provider from the convenience of wherever you are.
Save Time and Money
Although the cost for a telehealth appointment might be the same as an in-person visit, think of the valuable time you'll save. You don't have to find a babysitter, take time off work, drive, pay to park, or wait for your appointment.
Access to a Doctor
When there's no healthcare provider for miles around, it takes even more time and money to get to an appointment. Unfortunately, when going to the doctor is a big hassle, most people choose to put it off. Not seeing a doctor regularly can result in missing chronic health conditions at their earliest stages, when they are more treatable.
More Options for Homebound Patients
It's hard to get to the doctor if you're unable to walk, tethered to medical equipment, or don't have access to reliable transportation. Telehealth appointments make it easier for doctors to monitor the health of those who may need ongoing care most.
Others Can Attend Visits
If your daughter lives in another state, but you'd like her to hear what the doctor has to say, no problem. Your telehealth visit can be a three-way video or phone call. You can also have someone in the room with you during the call to take notes, so you don't forget anything.
More Comfortable for Many Patients
Some people put off medical care because they don't like going to a doctor's office. People struggling with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues may feel more at ease opening up to a therapist when they're in the comfort of their own home. In addition to medical care, telehealth is a great option for behavioral health care.
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