Nobody likes taking precious time out of their day to make a trip to the doctor’s office. Some days, it can be a bit of a chore. Other times, you may forget to take the time for the appointment or simply forget you made one! If you’re like a portion of the population who remains at-risk to Covid-19, then seeing a doctor in person might be dangerous. Fortunately, there’s a solution that’s been around for quite some time: telemedicine. Telemedicine — a branch of telehealth that deals with online/remote clinical treatments between a doctor and patient—is right now coming into prominence as a viable alternative to seeing a doctor in person. Here are five reasons to investigate the possibility of seeing a doctor online:
Treatment For Non-Emergency Conditions
One of the most useful features of seeing a doctor online is the extremely wide array of non-emergency conditions they can successfully treat. Here are just a few of the most common:
- Urinary Tract Infections
Supplemental to treating those conditions, an online doctor has the capacity to perform some degree of urgent care and help with your prescriptions as needed (which becomes especially important for those battling chronic conditions). Online doctors are overseen by the US Health Resources and Services Administration to ensure they’re reputable and following proper protocols. Seeing a doctor online is practical for many reasons, but you should always remember that if you’re experiencing an emergency – such as stroke symptoms, chest pain, severe breathing problems, and similar conditions – then a trip to the emergency room is prudent.
Mental Health Treatments
Mental health is an often-overlooked health concern. Primarily due to a mix of stigma, lack of accessibility, and prohibitive costs, some people may choose to avoid seeking help for mental health issues. But did you know that some of the best telemedicine operations actually have an entire section devoted to mental health and wellness? It’s true; some telemedicine companies can put you in touch with a therapist or specialist who can help address your mental health concerns. If you’re feeling anxious, having panic attacks, depression, or similar concerns, they can put you in touch with a therapist who can help guide you to a happier state of health and well-being. Remember that seeking therapy is nothing to be ashamed of and that online doctors are there to help you just the same as your local physician.
Convenience of Seeing a Doctor from Home
Sometimes, seeing a doctor for a common ailment like a cold or flu might seem like an inconvenience (at best) or a pain in the neck (at worst). Other times, you may be unsure if you need to go in or not. This is a situation where seeing an online doctor can save you time and energy. If you’re recovering from a recent procedure or need follow-up care and assessment, an online doctor can readily fit the bill in that respect as well. Finally, these services are ideal for managing a chronic condition and getting the prescriptions you need without having to leave your house.
Specialist Consultation, Research, and Privacy
Some organizations may offer a specialist consultation. A consultation is just a meeting between a patient and the doctor to exchange information about diagnosis and treatments. In most cases, the consultation is available in the teletherapy aspect of telemedicine. But when you’re looking for an online doctor, a reputable organization will provide access to plenty of research and materials to help you make a decision. You can also rest assured that telemedicine is HIPPA-compliant, ensuring your privacy and the safety of your health care data.
Low-Cost Online Visits
Another perk of seeing a doctor online is the relatively low cost of a single visit. Medical bills can be expensive and cumbersome. It’s such an issue in the US that one in four Americans will skip medical care rather than be faced with an expensive bill. Luckily, most telemedicine organizations offer a reasonable flat rate if (for whatever reason) they can’t accept your insurance. With insurance, the average cost of a visit with a virtual doctor hovers around $79 but can be significantly less depending on the condition, treatment, and whether a prescription is required. Getting a cold or infection treated may not cost as much, so it’s always wise to get an idea of possible insurance coverage and treatment costs as you’re setting up the appointment.
Seeing an online doctor is a great way to stay on top of your health and wellness without having to leave your home. Make sure you do plenty of research on reputable telemedicine organizations and finding a doctor that will be a good fit for you. As the world continues to become more and more online/connected, this relatively nascent service has the potential to change the world for the better and help people get the care they need.