For years, researchers, scientists, healthcare administrators, and medical professionals have been connecting medicine with technology. Today, remarkable advances in telemedicine allow you, the patient, to do the same.
Gone are the days when medical care required a trip to the doctor’s office. Now, with just a few clicks, you can research symptoms and health conditions online. You can then connect with a medical professional and receive personalized health advice and medical care from any internet-connected device. The best part is you can do all of this from the comfort of your own home.
Not only does technology allow you to access healthcare services at your convenience, but it also improves provider-patient communication and efficiency of care. What’s more, virtual, remote healthcare services are often far more economical than traditional office visits. Telemedicine’s ease of access and affordability are making healthcare more accessible to populations who may not otherwise seek it out.
What kind of care can you access online? Here are six services that telemedicine can provide.
1. Around-the-Clock Urgent Care
When you’re dealing with a health issue that requires urgent attention, you can turn to an online doctor for help. And if you don’t live near a healthcare facility or lack adequate health insurance, seeing a virtual physician may truly be a better option than visiting a clinic. Not only will you be able to speak to an online doctor within minutes, but you’ll also be able to access affordable care even if you’re uninsured.
Through a patient portal, you can text or video chat with a licensed U.S. doctor any time, day or night. Online doctors can give you advice on COVID-19, the flu, stomach problems, diarrhea, vomiting, and allergies. Ear, nose, and throat issues, blood pressure issues, lung problems, and certain heart issues can also be assessed and treated online.
Telemedicine can address a wide variety of urgent healthcare needs remotely. However, if you’re experiencing a potentially critical health concern, an online visit probably isn’t in your best interest. Call 911 or head to an emergency room to ensure you get the emergent care you may require.
2. Primary Care
If you’re new to primary care and need a doctor, you can see a licensed primary physician online. You can schedule routine check-ups and follow-ups, get health assessments, and even receive lifestyle advice.
If you need lab testing, your doctor can order at-home tests and have them sent to your location. Send them back for processing, schedule a follow-up virtual visit, and your physician will interpret your results in real-time.
Vaccination advice, pre-travel and post-travel care, guidance for hair and skin conditions, and post COVID-19 care are also available virtually. Whether you’re dealing with a new, existing, or potential health concern, you can get convenient, efficient, and affordable primary care through telemedicine.
3. Mental and Behavioral Healthcare
If you’re one of the 52.9 million U.S. adults living with a mental health condition, getting help is important. And you may be able to get the care and advice you need — in the comfort of your own home — through telemedicine.
Doctors can perform mental and emotional health assessments online and provide ongoing care for certain conditions. Treatment for mild depression, chronic fatigue, and anxiety is available virtually, as is therapy with a licensed professional.
If you’re dealing with loss, family issues, or relationship problems, you can speak with a licensed therapist online. Excessive worry, school-related stress, trouble sleeping, and even alcohol dependence can also be addressed remotely. If you have a child struggling with behavioral or mental health issues, remote assessments and treatment may also be possible
4. Online Prescriptions
Many prescriptions can be written by an online doctor, including those for new and existing health concerns and chronic conditions. If you have a current prescription, you can get your refills via telemedicine. If you require medication management, an online doctor can oversee that for you, too.
Through a virtual visit, your provider can order your prescriptions and send them to the local pharmacy of your choice. Within just a few hours, you can pick up your medication and avoid a lengthy trip to the doctor’s office.
Telemedicine often allows patients to save a substantial amount on their medications, too. Whether you carry insurance or lack adequate health coverage, getting your prescriptions online may be more economical than the alternative.
5. Care for Chronic Conditions
Many chronic conditions require long-term care, which traditionally involved repeat trips to the doctor’s office over several years. Telemedicine is changing that. Today, you can get online care for a multitude of chronic conditions, including:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- GI disorders
- High cholesterol
- Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes
- Diabetes-related health conditions
- Chronic bronchitis
Whether you require ongoing prescription refills or simply need advice, you can text or video chat with a physician. Through virtual care, you can get the medication and information you need to manage your chronic health condition remotely.
6. Sexual Healthcare
If you’re dealing with a male or female sexual health concern or need emergency contraception, telemedicine can help you. Doctors can prescribe birth control pills, order tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and treat STIs online. If you think you may have a yeast infection or urinary tract infection, you can also get that diagnosed and treated virtually.
Other sexual concerns, such as genital symptoms, libido issues, and performance anxiety can also be addressed online. Given the often sensitive nature of these types of health concerns, you may feel more comfortable discussing sexual issues remotely. Telemedicine gives you the opportunity to do that.
Whether you live in a healthcare desert, lack insurance, or simply want access to convenient and efficient medical care, virtual telehealth can help you. Everyone — regardless of location, income status, health status, or insurance status — deserves access to quality, affordable healthcare. Today’s telemedicine platforms and online physicians are working diligently to make that a reality.