Telemedicine refers to the process of using technology to connect patients with medical professionals. With the help of telephones or video conferencing, doctors can evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients without seeing them in person. Telemedicine is playing a vital role during the COVID-19 pandemic. People are sheltering in place, and even going to medical offices puts them at risk of exposure. With telemedicine, they can stay at home and still get the care they need. Also, doctors can use telemedicine to screen patients for coronavirus instead of having them come in, potentially putting the entire staff at risk.
While telemedicine (also known as telehealth) is growing in popularity, there are still some myths. Let’s go over the most common telemedicine myths.
Myth 1 – Virtual Doctors Can’t Diagnose and Treat Conditions
Telemedicine doctors can diagnose and treat a variety of conditions, including colds, flu, allergies, strep throat, and asthma. Now you might be asking, “Is telemedicine for urgent care only?” Telemedicine can also be used to manage chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, so it goes well beyond urgent care services. When you look at these examples of telehealth, it’s easy to see that telemedicine can meet most of your needs.
You like the idea of using a virtual doctor to diagnose and treat your conditions, but you still can’t help but wonder, “Is telemedicine effective?” After all, it can’t be useful if your doctor cannot prescribe medications. Fortunately, your doctor can make prescriptions after virtual visits, they will send them to your pharmacy of choice, and you can pick them up. The idea that virtual doctors don’t have prescribing faculties is just another of the telemedicine myths.
Myth 3 – Only People Who Live in Rural Areas Use Telemedicine
There is also a myth about who uses telemedicine. While it was initially developed to help people in rural areas receive health care, it has expanded. People in suburban and urban areas now turn to telemedicine.
Myth 4 – It Hurts the Doctor-patient Relationship
You might think you need to see your doctor in person every time to maintain a solid relationship, but that isn’t true. Telemedicine can actually help the doctor-patient relationship by supplementing regular doctor’s visits. You can use this service to easily connect with a medical professional during the pandemic or when you are too busy to go to the doctor’s office. While telemedicine is not a replacement for in-person visits, it is an excellent way to receive care in between those in-person visits.
Myth 5 – Telemedicine Is Expensive
This is another of the most popular telemedicine myths. People think it’s more expensive than in-person visits, but it’s more affordable than going to the emergency room, and it can cost less than visiting an urgent care facility.
Myth 6 – Telemedicine Isn’t Secure
This is one of the most common myths. Fortunately, it’s easy to debunk. Your privacy is important during all medical appointments, including telemedicine visits. Your doctor will use HIPAA-compliant software when interacting with you during a telehealth session.
Find a Telemedicine Provider
Now that you know that telemedicine is an effective option to receive treatment, you need to find a provider. The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) and Consumer Technology Association (CTA) have compiled a digital health directory. Use the ATA directory to find a telemedicine provider near you.
Did you know that Freeway Insurance offers affordable telemedicine plans? Give us a call today to purchase yours, we remain open and ready to serve you, don’t wait!