In this era of social distancing caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many healthcare providers and their patients are turning to telemedicine. This healthcare option offers patients a convenient way to get remote care from a licensed physician or healthcare provider, eliminating the need for physical consultations.
Telemedicine can be offered via video conferencing or over the phone. Contrary to popular belief, there’s an extensive list of common conditions that can be treated remotely, including dermatological and mental health conditions.
Not sure if your condition is covered by telemedicine? Read on to find out!
Counseling and therapy are generally non-urgent conditions that require ongoing interaction, follow-ups, and monitoring, which is why telemedicine is the ideal solution. Online counseling and therapy can really come in handy since patients won’t have to waste time in waiting rooms, and mental health providers can use small chunks of free time to provide care to patients remotely.
Teletherapy and telecounseling services offer patients the intimacy of in-person sessions, but with the added convenience of attending sessions from the comfort of their own homes.
Issues like acne, rashes, eczema, blemishes, and other minor skin conditions that are highly visual can easily be diagnosed via dermatological telemedicine sessions, smartly referred to as teledermatology. This field of telemedicine is fast-growing, and experts predict that remote diagnosis is the future of dermatology.
There are also many dermatological solutions available for mobile devices (hello apps!) that can help dermatologists examine patients and diagnose conditions much faster.
Ailments related to the common cold and coughs can often be diagnosed without the need for the patient to visit the doctor’s room. It’s also much safer to get a remote consult when you feel like you’re coming down with something since you won’t be able to spread the virus everywhere you move.
If the doctor suspects that the condition might be more severe than the common cold, that’s when the patient can go for further physical examination. But if it’s something mild, the doctor can send over an electronic prescription so the patient can pick up their meds from their local drugstore or pharmacy.
It can be challenging for athletes to tell if an ankle is sprained or broken, but a doctor can guide you through a video consultation to determine if you need to wrap, icepack, elevate the foot, or need to head to the ER.
Telemedicine appointments for common sports injuries can save patients time and money. Still, it’s essential to keep in mind that your doctor might not be able to prescribe you any kind of narcotic pain reliever for the sprain if you’re using telemedicine. For now, controlled substances may not be prescribed during telemedicine sessions.
Blood Pressure Conditions
Certain types of diabetes cause low blood pressure, and in this case, patients need to be monitored constantly. And thanks to remote monitoring solutions offered by telemedicine, it’s easier than ever for patients with low (and high) blood pressure to manage their conditions. Using monitoring devices and scheduling regular online visits with cardiologists and physicians are just the tip of the iceberg. Telemedicine is far more convenient and cost-effective than frequent trips to the doctor just for routine checkups and monitoring.
Most telemedicine solutions also work well with modern wearable devices and portable blood pressure machines that transmit patient data directly to the doctor, making the whole monitoring process that much more convenient.
Surgeons must follow up with their patients after surgery to ensure recovery is on track, and those follow-up visits can be a great inconvenience to patients. Telemedicine is a no-brainer for follow-ups since it’ll save everyone involved money, time, and lots of schlep in the long run.
Video sessions ensure the patient rests up after surgery while still offering the physician a way of monitoring the patient and providing support if and when needed. As for the surgeon, they also gain by having more time to consult with other patients and do surgeries, get better peer reviews, and gain access to collaborative opportunities.
The conditions we mentioned here are just examples of what’s currently treatable with virtual care. At the rate that technology’s advancing, it won’t be long before this list extends into the 100s.
Telemedicine offers the intimacy of face-to-face visits within the comfort of the patient’s own home. Patients can consult with their physicians on short notice and in non-emergency situations, and it’s one of the best ways for patients to stick to their care plan since they’re equipped with the tools they need to succeed on their healthcare journey when and where they need it most.
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