We’ve all gotten used to living in a more distanced way over the past year. It has affected how we work, how we parent, how many of our kids go to school, and so on. The biggest changes have been in the health care system, as well. While many of these changes have been for the worse, one notable silver lining has been the rise of telemedicine.
A lot of people tend to treat anything that happens over the internet with a little additional scrutiny and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, when it comes to telemedicine, there are many more advantages when you find the right suppliers, as well. Here are some of the reasons to take advantage of telemedicine.
Getting seen from home
Telemedicine can mean a range of different things, as different telemedicine providers will offer different services. One of the most common, however, is that it can allow you to book an appointment with and talk to doctors from your own home. While they cannot treat or inspect every condition through a screen (some might need a more physically present inspection), you may be able to get both diagnosis and advice from the doctor without having to make the trip to see them physically. By making it more convenient to see the doctor, not only do you save time, but doctors save time, too, which allows them to treat many more patients each day.
Keeping on top of your prescriptions
Getting an appointment and a diagnosis is one-half of the health care experience. Treating it is the other half, and it’s here that telemedicine can also be of great help. In many cases, the recommended treatment will be a prescription of some medication. With the help of digital pharmacies, you can put through, order, manage, and update your NHS prescriptions online. You can order recurring prescriptions to make sure that you never forget to stock up on your meds, and to make it a lot more convenient for those who might be too busy to visit a brick and mortar pharmacy on a regular basis or who might otherwise be unable to get the meds that they need.
Helping you manage everyday illnesses
One of the advantages of telemedicine that might go under the radar comes in the form of making it easier to manage and treat a wider range of health problems. For too many people, they don’t take the time to see about their own health unless it’s an emergency. In fact, some doctor’s offices can find it hard to make time for patients who are experiencing non-emergency conditions, such as allergies or some of the more common infections. As such, having these conditions untreated can worsen your quality of life and, if you’re unlucky, lead to an emergency situation. Telemedicine makes it a lot easier to call up a doctor and have a quick consultation about your non-emergency needs and to get the treatment to better manage your health.
Keeping on top of your mental health
When we talk about health care, it’s all too common and easy to relegate the conversation to physical injuries and illnesses. However, mental health is just as important for our long-term health and well-being. To that end, however, you might find that there are even more options when it comes to getting mental health help online. From making appointments with online counsellors to joining support groups that can help you learn how to manage emotional health symptoms over the long term, you can get a lot of help online. It’s important to make sure that if you’re trying to manage any clinical mental health issues, such as clinical depression or a diagnosed anxiety disorder, that you’re talking to a licensed therapist that can recommend tested and proven methods of treatment.
Getting data-driven diagnoses
The technology that aids us with telemedicine isn’t just the internet connection and the media devices such as cameras, speakers, microphones, and screens that allow us to connect over a distance. There are also digital devices that can help capture the data that our health care service providers can then use to help us better manage our condition. Wearable health care technology can measure things such as our heart rate, blood pressure and, in some cases, things like our blood sugar, as well as our activity levels. As such, our doctors can get a much better sense of our day-to-day health rather than having to rely on a “snapshot” of our health that we describe to them. The data that they can get from this tech can then enable them to make much more accurate and insightful diagnoses and recommendations.
Slowing the spread of infection
In case it needed to be said, one of the big advantages of socially distanced medicine is, of course, in preventing the spread of COVID-19. There is an increasing concern that COVID might be here for good, due to the failure of local authorities and the wider population when it comes to managing the spread of the variants that are starting to pop up. As such, telemedicine may continue to play an increasing role in getting treated without the risk of catching the disease.
Breaking down the barriers of care
Though it is, perhaps, the most notable of them all, COVID-19 is only a recent barrier that has been preventing people from getting the health care services that they might otherwise have access to. There are people who have other barriers that make it difficult for them to get diagnosed or treated when they need it. Disability and the inability to transport oneself is a big one, as is simply being too far from a pharmacy or a doctor’s office and being too busy to make the time to take the trip to see them. Telemedicine is helping break down those barriers for everyone.
Telemedicine is changing and will continue to change how we manage our health and treat illnesses. It might be a good idea to start getting used to it sooner, rather than later.