Telemedicine is one of the long-lasting legacies of COVID 19. It has changed the face of healthcare. Can I use telemedicine? When should I use telemedicine? How does it work?
Prior to March 2020 only 11% of Americans had been seen by a doctor via video. By May 20020 3 of 10 consumers were being seen by video. Telemedicine uses video cameras and monitors to connect you to health care providers. You will be able to see, hear, and talk to a doctor or any health care professionals through video-conferencing. You may have a family member; care provider be on the call with you.
Preparation is vital. You need to be prepared for the information being asked of you and have your questions written down, so nothing gets missed. These appointments are also called virtual visits. Your health care team will ask you questions and work with you to develop a plan of care, in response to the symptoms you share. In the past these visits have been used for urgent but non-emergent symptoms. Now telehealth has expanded into physician, nurse practitioner, mental health provider, pre and post op visits. Often expanded with the use of wearable monitoring applications now available. These include monitoring of vital signs by finger EKG, glucose levels and both physical and occupational applications. Online visits leave the clinician with additional time to see more serious patients in an office, urgent care or emergency setting.
How do I get started? You will need access to a computer with a webcam, or a smartphone or tablet. This gives you the ability to stay in your home, reduces stress from the cost and time spent traveling and reduced absence from work/school.
Telehealth is being supported by the medical community, as there are few missed appointments. The insurance providers see a huge potential in cost savings. So be prepared for your next point of care, as is may be in your own living room.