Did you know that 6 out of 10 people in the United States suffer from at least one chronic health condition? Some health problems start early, but many appear as we age. Many people don’t have the time to visit their doctor as often as they should.
This can lead to one’s health problems getting worse. The benefits of telehealth can prevent this. But what exactly is telehealth?
What benefits does it have over visiting your doctor in person? Keep reading and learn more about the benefits of telemedicine below.
What Is Telehealth?
Telehealth has already been around for a while, but it only became popular in recent years. During the Coronavirus pandemic, many medical clinics started to use telehealth services. This would allow patients to check up with their doctors without having to go to the clinic in person.
Telehealth usually involves the use of your computer. That way, you and your doctor can see each other face-to-face. You can ask your doctor questions just as you would in person.
In some cases, you might be able to use your phone for a telehealth appointment. Most clinics prefer that you use your computer because it is easier to see and communicate with you. A telehealth appointment is not all that different from a regular appointment.
The only big difference is that you and your doctor will not be in the same room. Telehealth appointments cannot be used all the time. If you need to get medical tests done, you will need to go to your clinic in person.
This is also true if you need to get a physical exam. While you can describe or show certain problems to your doctor, it won’t be the same as palpating the area. If you have a growth on your skin or something similar, it would be a good idea to go in person.
If you only need a check-up, a telehealth appointment would be the perfect option. More and more doctors are starting to use telehealth. It makes it easier for doctors to talk to more patients more efficiently.
Telehealth also makes it easier for doctors to form more concise schedules. That also makes it easier for you to get the medical attention you need. Even if you’re not very tech-savvy, you should still be able to enjoy the benefits of telehealth.
This is because telehealth is designed to be as simple as possible. All you need to do is follow the instructions that are provided. That way, you can navigate through the process and talk to your doctor as you would normally.
Many doctors are starting to see that telemedicine may be a new essential aspect in the realm of healthy living. Many people are unable to visit the doctor’s office in person. This may be because people are too busy or too unwell to leave the house.
Telehealth is the perfect alternative. But what other benefits do telehealth services have to offer?
Improved Medical Access
Not everyone has easy access to medical clinics. Consider people who live out in rural areas. These people might have to drive an hour or even more to reach the nearest clinic.
If they need special treatment, they might have to drive even farther. This is not always possible. Some people may be too sick to drive so far.
Others may not have the time in their schedule. No one wants to drive for several hours just for a doctor’s appointment. The task gets even harder if the driving conditions take a turn for the worse.
Driving through a storm or blizzard will only be a hazard to the patient. Being late for the appointment is another very possible outcome. Even if you don’t live in a rural area, there still might be reasons that you can’t come to the doctor’s office in person.
You might be seriously ill and not able to drive. You might not have anyone to drive you there either. Or, your schedule may be filled up and you won’t have enough time to drive to the medical clinic.
But this does not mean that you should abandon your doctor’s appointment. Not getting regular appointments can be detrimental to your health. This is especially true in the long run.
If you can’t get the treatment you need, you can’t expect to keep your health in check. Telehealth services can solve these issues. You can access telehealth services wherever you may be as long as you have an internet connection.
What You Need to Know
If you are too sick to get out of bed, you can telehealth your doctor from the comfort of your home. If you are on the go, you can telehealth your doctor on your phone. You won’t have to wait around in a waiting room for an hour either.
Waiting rooms are full of pathogens and it is easy to catch a cold or flu just by sitting and waiting in them. By using telehealth instead, you can avoid that situation entirely. You might have a difficult time getting used to telehealth, but don’t worry.
There is only a small learning curve to using this technology. As mentioned before, it was designed to be as simple as possible. Even if you rarely use phones or computers, getting through a telehealth appointment should be easy for you.
As soon as it is set up, your doctor can start talking to you and asking questions as they might at any ordinary appointment. You may also take the opportunity to ask your doctor some questions you may have. Once you get used to the telehealth process, there will be no need to worry about it.
Most likely, you will enjoy it far more than driving to the health clinic. You won’t have to fight traffic, sit in the waiting room, or be around people who might have something contagious. This is very important if your health is already compromised, and you can’t risk it getting worse.
Record Measurements and Review Test Results
The main downside of telehealth is that your doctor is not able to perform any tests on you. That doesn’t mean that your doctor can’t still gather important information and go over existing data. There are certain measurements that your doctor can still collect from you even if you’re not there in person.
Your weight is a good example of a measurement that you can provide to your doctor through a telehealth appointment. But what about your heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels? These measurements would require you to have a special device to detect them.
If you happen to have one of those devices, you could send the data over to your doctor. Your doctor will then have a better understanding of the current state of your health. Your blood sugar levels are important to monitor as they may tell you if you are diabetic or have pre-diabetes.
If so, your doctor can give you advice on what you can do to keep your blood sugar levels stable. If they get too high, you could encounter some dangerous health issues. Fluctuations in your blood pressure are also significant.
If your doctor finds that your blood pressure is too high, he or she may prescribe you blood pressure medication. If it is too low, you may need medication too. There are certain things that your doctor will not be able to do from a telehealth appointment.
What to Know
If you need any blood tests, you will have to go to the clinic in person. This is also true for routine physical exams and similar tests. If you have already had some tests and the results came in, your doctor can review them with you.
This is important because you may not know what the results mean if you read them on your own. Your doctor can explain whether the results of your tests are good or bad. If your tests say that you are healthy, you likely won’t need to make any changes.
But if your tests don’t look so great, your doctor may recommend some things you can do. For example, suppose you got the results of a blood sugar test and found that they were very high. Your doctor will tell you whether you have diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Your doctor will also tell you how you can keep your blood sugar down. This is usually done by avoiding foods that contain sugar. Besides reviewing test results, your doctor can also review medications you may be taking.
You can also discuss medications you may be interested in taking. Asking about side effects, dosages, and other information is all important when taking a new drug. Knowing more about your medications will help you understand how they improve or manage your health.
Your doctor may even diagnose you through a telehealth appointment. This is only done if the doctor has all the relevant information.
Everyone knows that medical treatment can be expensive. Even with health insurance, you may still need to pay quite a lot. This is especially true with more intensive treatment.
But telehealth can lower your costs significantly. Telehealth appointments are cheaper than in-person appointments. This is because in-person appointments require more effort on the doctor’s part.
Telehealth appointments are much easier not only for you but for your doctor too. These appointments even reduce overhead medical costs. The doctor wouldn’t need to charge as much for their services. As a result, your out-of-pocket costs would be significantly reduced.
What about your health insurance? In the past, it was difficult to use health insurance for telehealth appointments. In recent years, things have changed and become much easier.
Today, most doctors can apply your health insurance to telehealth appointments. This is true not only for private medical insurance companies but even for Medicare. But be sure that you check the rules and requirements that your insurance has.
What Else Should You Consider?
In certain states, there may be complications when using your insurance for telehealth. As long as you double-check your insurance and make sure that it’s covered, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Your insurance should reimburse you for your appointment.
Reducing overall medical costs makes telehealth far more accessible to more people. Some people rarely go to the doctor’s office because they don’t have the money. This can result in medical conditions that never get treated.
People who don’t have medical insurance don’t visit the doctor for the same issue. But because telehealth appointments are so much more affordable, the cost shouldn’t be an issue. While telehealth appointments certainly aren’t free, they are more accessible to most people.
This is true even for those who have very low incomes. As long as telehealth remains accessible, people from all walks of life can get the medical care they need.
All About the Benefits of Telehealth
There are more benefits of telehealth than you might expect. Telehealth is far more affordable than in-person appointments, even for those without any health insurance. Telehealth is also very convenient as it allows sick people and people from rural areas to get the medical attention they need.
Overall, telehealth is a huge success, and many more doctors are starting to use it. If you need telehealth medical services, discover how we can help.