Have you ever missed a doctor’s appointment that took you months to schedule because you were stuck in traffic? Or have you ever had to take a whole day off of work to go to a 20 minute doctor’s visit? Your health should be a priority, but unfortunately day-to-day responsibilities can get in the way of managing your well-being. This is why telemedicine can make your life easier.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine was originally developed as a means to treat patients in rural or remote areas who had limited access to healthcare. However advancements in telecommunications technology have made telemedicine an increasingly popular way for healthcare practitioners to evaluate, treat and diagnose patients remotely. Through a phone call or video conferencing software on a smart phone, tablet or laptop, patients are able to connect with a doctor to be treated for a wide-array of medical issues.
What are Common Uses for Telemedicine Services?
Telemedicine providers can treat patients with common medical problems as well as those with chronic diseases. Some examples of telemedicine applications include:
- Treatment for non-emergency medical problems. Typical ailments treated through telemedicine include headaches, a sore throat, cold and flu, ear infections, allergies, asthma, pink eye and more.
- Follow-up visits. Telemedicine can be a great tool for visits such as a surgeon following up with a patient after surgery to ensure they are healing properly.
- Remote chronic disease management. Telemedicine makes chronic disease treatment easier to manage thanks to the use of high-tech medical devices that allow physicians to monitor their patients remotely. Doctors can have access to data related to heart rate, blood pressure, glucose levels and more.
- Medication management. Healthcare providers are able to utilize telemedicine to ensure their patients are taking their medicines as prescribed.
Telemedicine services are also available in a number of specialty fields such as dermatology, radiology, mental health and more.
What are Examples of Telemedicine Benefits?
The last thing you want to do when you aren’t feeling well is head to a doctor’s office and sit around in a waiting room filled with other sick patients who could be exposing you to additional illnesses. Wouldn’t it be nice to schedule a consultation with your doctor that will take place right in the comfort of your own home on your own time? Telemedicine technology makes that possible.
Essentially, telemedicine provides the following benefits:
- Saves time. Appointments can be conducted in the patients’ home so it eliminates travel time and waiting in a waiting room.
- Saves money. Telemedicine eliminates the cost of traveling to the doctor, having to take time off of work and finding childcare. Telemedicine is an alternative for uninsured patients and visits can also be more affordable than a visit to the doctor or an urgent care facility.
- Flexible scheduling. Telemedicine provides the flexibility of 24/7 visits.
What is Telehealth and is it the Same as Telemedicine?
The terms telehealth and telemedicine are often used interchangeably; however telemedicine is actually a branch of telehealth. While telemedicine delivers clinical services, telehealth involves the use of technology for health research, training and education.
Examples of telehealth services include the use of telecommunications technology to provide physician training to doctors in another country or the use of a video conferencing platform to conduct an administrative meeting among healthcare professionals.
How Do Telemedicine Companies Work?
Now that you have realized the benefits and value of telemedicine services you may interested in learning more about how these companies work. Some telemedicine companies contract on-call doctors while others provide a telemedicine platform for doctors to conduct virtual or phone appointments with their own patients.
With the advancement of mobile health applications and monitoring tools, telemedicine services may be even more accessible and easier to use than you may have imagined!
Telemedicine plans from Freeway Insurance are affordable, starting at just $60 for a six month plan and $100 for a 12 month plan. Purchase a telemedicine plan online in minutes and you’ll have access to your plan’s benefits right away.