Is Telemedicine a COVID-19 Trend or the New Way to See a Doctor?
Telemedicine allows patients to receive real-time health care services from the comfort of their own homes. It's become essential in the era of COVID-19 where self-quarantining and social distancing are the norm.
But will the popularity of telemedicine continue once the coronavirus pandemic is behind us? Absolutely! It serves as an easier, more convenient way for patients to receive medical care and health care professionals to provide their services.
With telemedicine, health care providers can perform patient consultations, determine whether patients require in-person treatment, write or renew prescriptions, and offer certain types of therapies.
Benefits of Telemedicine
There are countless benefits of telemedicine. Some of the most noteworthy ones include:
Telemedicine offers convenience to patients and healthcare providers. Patients and providers don't have to travel for appointments. As long as they have internet connection, they can simply log in to their appointment with a computer or another compatible device.
Since telemedicine allows providers to run virtual clinics from their home offices, it can save them a great deal of money. A telemedicine service can also help them save on the high expenses that come with patient management, health record and medical history storage, and billing.
Improved Access to Care
Telemedicine is ideal for patients who live in rural areas with limited access to healthcare providers. It's also particularly convenient for those who are struggling with limited mobility due to a condition like a neuromuscular disorder or spinal cord injury.
Easy Management of Chronic Illnesses
Thanks to telemedicine, patients can manage chronic conditions with ease. They may be able to use at-home devices to record important data and digitally transfer it to their healthcare providers. With telemedicine, they're also likely to see their providers more frequently.
Frequently Asked Questions About Telemedicine
How much does telemedicine cost?
In most cases, telemedicine services are free for providers. The providers themselves can determine how much to charge patients for telemedicine appointments.
Are telemedicine visits as effective as those that occur in-person?
Telemedicine can replace in-person visits for many patients without compromising the quality of care and communication they receive.
How can patients schedule telemedicine appointments?
To schedule telemedicine appointments, patients can reach out to their healthcare provider who will send them directions via email or text.
Do patients require special hardware and software to participate in telemedicine?
As long as they have a computer or device with a camera, patients may log in to a telemedicine appointment. They can use PCs, Macs, Androids, or iOS devices.
Are there any privacy concerns with telemedicine?
Healthcare providers and patients don't have to worry about privacy concerns because all data is encrypted, all sessions are anonymous, and there is no storage of information. Telemedicine services follow HIPAA, PIPEDA, and GDPR data privacy requirements.
Does insurance cover telemedicine appointments?
Fortunately, many insurance providers, including Cigna, Humana, and United Healthcare offer partial or full coverage for telemedicine visits. Patients are encouraged to contact their insurance company to verify what their policy covers.