By Beau Peters – The COVID-19 pandemic effectively changed how we go about our daily lives, especially when it comes to our health and safety. Social distancing protocols and hospitals forced to peak capacity required us to change how we get the medical care that we need. The answer was the rise of telehealth. This great new tech allowed people to see doctors about a myriad of issues, all without leaving their homes. It was a true blessing when we needed it most.
If you have never used telehealth, sometimes referred to as telemedicine, then you may have some questions about what it is, how it works, and when you can take advantage of what the platform has to offer. We are here to help. Below is a crash course on telehealth and tips for making the process easy and efficient.
In a nutshell, telehealth is a method of getting medical advice and care over a video service on a computer or mobile device. As with when we go to the physical doctor’s office, appointments are still required and many of the services you would receive in-person can also be completed online. While physical exams may not be possible, diagnoses can be given for common ailments, including headaches, sore throats, and digestive issues. If required, telehealth doctors can also prescribe necessary medication and schedule follow-up visits to provide future care.
As the technology continues to evolve, we are seeing more and more services become available via telehealth. For instance, those who need to speak to a therapist or get psychiatric help can often get the assistance they need from the comfort of their home via this platform that ensures their confidentiality. The use of the camera on your computer can also allow physicians to see bruises, cuts, and bites and provide the best course of action.
Telehealth has many amazing benefits, especially for patients who are older or immobile and unable to leave the house. It is also great for those living in rural areas who may be many miles away from a doctor’s office. The future is very bright for telehealth. As technology continues to evolve, we may see an increase in the number of medical offices that support telehealth in addition to exciting ways of sending our medical data via smartwatches, which would allow doctors to see how their patients are feeling in real-time.
Now that you know the amazing benefits of telehealth, you may be wondering how you would get started if you need to see a doctor from home. If you already have a primary care physician, then you can call the office or visit their website to determine if you can set up a telehealth appointment. Another option is to use a smartphone app like GoodRx,To obtain the most benefits from your sessions, you will need to have working equipment and a setup in the right room. Before your appointment begins, take a few moments to test your internet connection, ensure that you can see yourself on your computer’s camera, and test your sound to ensure that you and the doctor can see each other during the session.
You’ll want to move your setup into the room in your home with the best illumination. After all, in most cases, if the doctor cannot see you, they cannot properly diagnose you. Natural light is best and you should sit facing a window so you get the best illumination without producing a glare that can be distracting to the doctor. If you are dealing with a condition like a sore throat that is not clearly obvious, you might want to also get a flashlight so you canwhich can provide options for telehealth services in your area and tell you how to connect.
Once you have found a provider that can serve your particular medical need, you are typically able to book your appointment by choosing a date and time that works for you. Keep in mind that telehealth visits are not typically free, though they are often much more affordable than the cost you would pay when going to the doctor’s office. It is a wise idea to check with your insurance provider to see what they do and do not cover.
A telehealth appointment is much like a typical doctor’s appointment. You will log in, wait until the doctor joins the conference, and then describe your symptoms and go from there. It is a smart idea to write down everything that you want to discuss before your telehealth sessions so you don’t forget anything. It is also wise to record your weight, height, current medications, and any other specifics correlating to your condition before the appointment in the case that the doctor asks for them.
illuminate areas that are hard to see.
Although the platform is extremely helpful, it is important to use caution when utilizing telehealth, because just like with anything else that requires the internet, it is subject to the threats of hackers and cybercriminals. To avoid danger, make sure to never open any emails unless you know for sure that it is from your healthcare provider. If you do, you could fall victim to a phishing scam. To stay safe, it is a smart idea to have antivirus software installed on your computer so if you do get a virus while using telehealth, you can stop it in its tracks before any extensive damage can occur.
As you can see, the advent of telehealth is a true lifesaver for many people across the world. Take advantage of this great platform when you get the chance, and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish from the comfort of your home.
Beau Peters – beaupeters360[@]gmail.com
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