The Doctor Will Virtually See You Now: How Online Doctor Appointments Work
Category: Healthy Living
Posted on January 16, 2021
Vanessa is a health writer and blogging expert. Her specialities are medicine, health and wellness. She is proud to call Vancouver, BC her home where she enjoys the ocean and mountains with her dog Mr. ChowChow.
Did you know that more than 20% of doctors in the US used telemedicine to treat their patients in 2019? That's an amazing increase from just around 5% back in 2015. Online doctor appointments have become more and more prevalent these days because they offer a lot of benefits.
But have you ever wondered how telemedicine works? And how can you set up an appointment with virtual doctors? Luckily, this lengthy article will break down all the details for you. Keep reading to learn more about online doctor appointments, online prescriptions, and more.
What Is Telemedicine and Why Is It So Popular These Days?
Telemedicine represents the practice of offering medical advice with the help of the internet. This is done by doctors who obtain certification for telemedicine. They are known as virtual doctors and they can set up online appointments with their patients.
Telemedicine has become increasingly popular in the last years because technology progressed and internet speed has increased worldwide. More and more people have access to a computer or smartphone with good internet connectivity.
As a result, doctors can take advantage of this and offer medical advice with the help of modern gadgets. The process is simple, straightforward, and saves resources. Telemedicine will continue to grow in the upcoming years as modern technology becomes more and more prevalent all around the world.
How Can You Set up an Online Appointment?
Some numerous medical platforms and businesses offer telemedicine services. Patients from all over the country can take advantage of these services. For example, all that you have to do is to register on a particular platform and pick your preferred doctor.
Patients can usually pick from multiple certified doctors from various fields. Each doctor has a schedule set up and you can see the available hours. If a slot is free at a particular moment of the day, you can claim it and set up an online appointment with your favorite doctor.
You might need to submit different types of information before setting up a virtual meeting with your doctor. In some cases, certain medical services are free. For more complex medical advice, you might be required to pay a fee.
Some platforms allow ongoing virtual meetings for a set price every year or they can charge for a one-time online appointment. You have the freedom to pick your favorite medical service depending on your needs and budget.
You Can Use Your Smartphone or Laptop for Your Virtual Meeting
The beauty of telemedicine is that it can be done on almost any modern smartphone or laptop. As long as you have a good microphone, a stable internet connection, and a webcam/selfie camera, you can take advantage of virtual doctor meetings.
For example, you can set up an appointment and see your doctor from the comfort of your own living room. If you're traveling, you can set up a meeting with your doctor from your hotel room. Most people use their smartphones for this purpose and get all the medical advice they need.
If your internet speed is good, you have a big advantage because you can send medical records and documents almost instantly. You can also take advantage of Full HD or even 4K meetings, making them feel as if you're at the doctor's office.
Lastly, virtual doctor meetings can be done during emergency situations too. If you've had a car accident and you're in the middle of the highway, you might be able to contact a doctor and receive adequate medical help. As long as you have a smartphone and good internet connectivity, urgent telemedicine might save your life.
Virtual Doctors Can Treat a Wide Variety of Health Problems
You might be surprised to find out how many health issues a virtual doctor can help you with. These problems fall into both primary care medicine and urgent situations. For example, your doctor can help you handle allergies, diabetes, high blood pressure as well as mental health conditions.
In some cases, doctors can also help you with urgent problems such as sinus infections, dental pain, headaches, migraines, yeast infections, or stomach problems. Remember that a typical virtual meeting can take approximately an hour, so there's plenty of time to discuss your health issues.
Virtual Doctors Can Prescribe Antibiotics and Other Medications Too
As another advantage of telemedicine, you can now get a prescription from your doctor through virtual meetings. Your doctor can offer prescriptions for various drugs, including antibiotics. This should help you treat bacterial infections with ease.
The prescription can be emailed to you in just a couple of minutes. You can use it to get different types of antibiotics or drugs over the internet from online pharmacies. In other words, modern technology allows you to get a diagnosis, prescription, and buy the needed medication without even leaving your bed.
However, it's important to know that virtual doctors cannot offer you a prescription for certain drugs. For example, doctors cannot give you the green light for medical marijuana or antipsychotic drugs such as Risperdal.
These are called controlled substances and you need an in-person meeting to get a prescription for them. Your doctor needs to see you and perform a more thorough physical examination before offering such a prescription.
Other controlled substances include narcotics, sedatives, and stimulants such as Adderall. Apart from that, you can obtain advice and prescriptions for a wide variety of drugs, as long as you need them and your virtual doctor has consulted your medical record.
What Are the Main Benefits of Telemedicine?
As you can see, telemedicine or online doctor appointments can solve a lot of problems. They offer benefits for both patients and doctors, as long as a certain code of conduct is followed. If you still have doubts, here are some of the most important benefits of telemedicine as of today.
Receive Medical Advice From the Comfort of Your Own Home
Many people postpone medical visits because they have to travel long distances to arrive at the doctor's office. Also, some people in rural areas don't have access to modern medical facilities or expert knowledge in a specific medical area.
When telemedicine comes into the picture, all these problems disappear. You can have access to excellent medical treatment and guidance without leaving your house, without leaving your bed even.
This is what makes telemedicine so attractive to patients. You can enjoy the comfort of your own home and receive medical advice on how to cope with your health issues. You can take advantage of virtual doctor meetings even from an RV or hotel room.
Telemedicine Is Accessible to Multiple Patients Worldwide
As you know already, some doctors are better at their practice than others. Certain doctors are able to treat complicated diseases and have gathered thousands of hours of experience treating multiple patients from all over the country.
Telemedicine allows you to get in touch with experienced and reputable doctors without having to travel hundreds of miles to see them. You can set up an appointment with a famous doctor and take advantage of his/her expert advice.
At the same time, telemedicine brings more patients to new doctors who just opened up their offices. This helps them create a good reputation fast and earn more money each year. More and more patients got used to searching for doctors online and telemedicine provides the bridge that connects trustworthy doctors with patients countrywide.
Virtual Meetings Reduce No-Show Instances for Doctors
If you're a doctor, you know how frustrating it can be to have patients who don't show up for a consultation. You lose time and money and you have to get busy rescheduling patients who couldn't show up to your office.
Some studies show that most doctors get at least one no-show instance every day. Although this might not seem like much, it can add up over one year. Not only that you can lose thousands of dollars in revenue, but hundreds of patients who could have shown up are left untreated.
Luckily, telemedicine seems to provide a solution to this problem. Since patients don't need to travel to your office, there are fewer chances that they might miss a flight or get stuck in traffic. As a result, you can see more patients every day and make more money.
In the rare case a patient cannot attend a virtual meeting, you can simply reschedule someone else to fill that spot. Again, patients don't have to be physically present in your office. They should simply turn on their webcam and receive appropriate medical care.
Telemedicine Saves a Lot of Time and Money for Regular Patients
Some patients require a single virtual meeting once or twice a year. However, many patients need ongoing meetings with their doctors. This happens because they struggle with a more difficult disease and they require regular medical care to deal with it.
In this case, telemedicine can save patients a lot of time and money in the long run. Just two meetings per month can result in 24 meetings every year. Imagine how much money would you spend on fuel to travel to a doctor's office 24 times every year.
Similarly, imagine how much time you would waste in traffic trying to arrive at your doctor's office at a certain hour. Thanks to telemedicine, you can now put this time and money to better use and still receive the much-needed medical care on a regular basis.
Virtual Meetings Are Great for Both Urgent and Primary Care
Different patients require different types of medical care. What makes telemedicine so valuable is that it can tackle the needs of a broader range of patients. Whether you're worried about your blood pressure or you have a terrible headache, you can get in touch with an experienced doctor fast.
That's because medical platforms collaborate with a plethora of certified doctors who are on duty 24/7. It might take you a few minutes to set up an account on one of these platforms. Once the payment details are established, you can talk with an expert almost immediately.
This is a great opportunity to treat various urgent situations such as getting an infection, waking up with a terrible cough, and so on. Regardless of your location in the country or time zone, telemedicine allows you to find a reputable doctor willing to help you get better soon.
Telemedicine Also Prevents You From Catching Other Diseases
If you ever visited a doctor's office or hospital, you know how crowded it can get in the waiting room. You will sit next to people who also require medical care, just like you do. These people might already have contagious diseases or other medical problems.
Depending on how long you have to wait, it's not uncommon for patients to get more diseases from other patients. This can be frustrating and prolong your recovery and healing time. Moreover, you could spread a dangerous disease to someone else too.
Luckily, telemedicine simply eliminates those risks altogether. You won't be traveling to any doctor's office or hospital. You won't be sitting in a crowded room with other infected patients and you won't spread or get a disease from them.
In fact, you'll be sitting in your living room with a cup of coffee next to you, waiting for your doctor to say "hi". Telemedicine helps you save money and time, but it keeps you safer too. This can be particularly important if your health is fragile or your small children need urgent medical care.
It's Time to Set up Your First Online Doctor Appointments Today!
As you can see, online doctor appointments are the next big thing when it comes to receiving medical care. You should try telemedicine as soon as possible, whether you're a doctor or a patient. Virtual meetings can help you fix various health issues quicker and with less effort than before, so take advantage of them today.
If you'd like to talk with an experienced doctor or have any kind of health-related question then make sure that you contact us today. Our doctors are always ready to treat their patients regardless of the nature of their health issues.