Home General As the Coronavirus Pandemic Rages On: Are Online Doctor Consultations the Answer We Need?

As the Coronavirus Pandemic Rages On: Are Online Doctor Consultations the Answer We Need?

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Advances in modern medicine help individuals live longer and thanks to this technology, the demand for doctors is growing steadily. However, now there are new ways to speak to a doctor beyond the traditional office visit. By scheduling an online consultation, it is possible to get the health care services needed.

There are some people who are still hesitant to book an online doctor visit. However, in today’s unprecedented times and with the impact of the global pandemic, it is now more important than ever before to have these options.

Here are some benefits offered by online doctor consultations:

Avoid having to travel

With COVID-19 being present, it is dangerous for many people to get out and about among other people. Not only that, but there are some people who have mobility issues or chronic conditions that make travel especially problematic. However, when they schedule an online consultation with their doctor, they can get the health care services needed without having to leave their home.

While some are still worried they won’t like or benefit from the experience, recent studies have proven this isn’t the case for most. In fact, up to 98% of patients who have the virtual doctor experience report, they approved of the experience.

Improved symptom checking methods

According to most reports, approximately 35% of all Americans will go online to discover the type of medical issue they are dealing with. The fact is people are not going to stop trying to self-diagnose.

However, there are limitations to what blogs and videos can tell a person about their symptoms and what they mean. With virtual doctors, though, all this is changing. Today, they can use intelligent symptom checking devices, which helps someone better identify their symptoms and find the underlying causes.

Save money

Many people are worried that a virtual doctor’s visits are going to be cost-prohibitive. However, this is rarely the case. With an online doctor consultation, a person gets the medical attention they need without putting themselves at risk.

In fact, online doctor visits can save a person up to $88 per visit compared to seeing a doctor in person. For those who do not have health insurance, this is a smart and affordable option. Usually, visits to the doctor will cost a minimum of $120. However, when someone chooses an online visit, they may pay as little as $40 per visit. Since it is so affordable to talk to a doctor online, it is possible to get medical care even if someone isn’t sure they really need it.

Get the needed prescriptions

There are many people who require regular prescription refills to handle chronic or ongoing health conditions. Long gone are the days of having to go into the office and seeing the doctor face-to-face to receive this prescription. Now it is possible to get the needed prescription at a local pharmacy that has been called in by the doctor.

Sometimes, an in-person exam is necessary. One prescription that requires this visit is Viagra. There are some occasions, though, when the exam is not needed, and it is possible to get it from the doctor with a single, online visit. Some examples of prescriptions that may be able to be prescribed virtually include allergy medication or contraceptives.

Security and privacy

There are many people who are not familiar or comfortable with speaking to their doctor online. This is why it is more important than ever to make sure they meet with someone who has the needed expertise in the medical field to provide advice on a particular health condition.

When someone schedules an appointment with a virtual doctor, they can feel confident they are using a secure server and system. The information that is provided will remain confidential. The online doctor is also required to comply with all HIPAA standards, which is something that was passed in 1996. This helps ensure that all medical-related information remains safe and private.

Convenient and comfortable

If someone happens to wake up in the middle of the night with various symptoms that they are concerned about, what options do they have? Usually, a person would have to wait until their doctor’s office opened the next day, or they would have to go to an emergency room or 24/7 urgent care clinic.

If someone works full-time or if they have a busy schedule, now they can see a doctor at their convenience. No longer do they have to spend hours in the doctor’s waiting room for their appointment. It is possible to sit in their home and wait to talk to the doctor.

Take time to learn about health

Unlike a face-to-face consultation, with an online consultation with a person’s doctor, it may be necessary to perform a self-exam. For example, a person may have to check for signs of inflamed tissue in their throat or look into the ache that is in their back. By taking time to examine a person’s body, an individual can learn a lot more about their own health condition. When someone better understands their medical problems, the better they will be in determining if it is time to go to the doctor.

No infection risk

People go to the doctor to feel better. However, if there are other people who are ill in the office, the opposite may occur. Now is the time to consider an at-home consultation, especially with medical concerns like COVID-19 being around. During the online consultation, there is no risk of catching anything new. If an individual has a poor immune system, they are able to speak to a doctor right from their own homes.

When it comes to seeking a doctor’s help with medical issues, there are more than a few factors to consider. Be sure to keep the information here in mind to know why virtual doctor’s visits may be a smart move, especially in the times that are present today.


Image credit: Freepik

Peter Wallace has been an advocate for mental health awareness for years. He holds a master’s degree in counselling from the University of Edinburgh.

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