The COVID-19 pandemic forced medical providers to change the way they offer care to patients. The government issued social distancing health guidelines to limit contact to ensure the virus’s spread was curtailed. Now, healthcare providers prefer virtual appointments to in-office visitations. We are currently in the coronavirus tidal wave, and more patients are going back to one-on-one visitations to the doctor’s office. Still, experts say that virtual meetings with doctors are here to stay.

Various health surveillance reports have indicated high patient
satisfaction with online doctor appointments. For instance, patients have realized that virtualization of medical appointments allows them to get healthcare services from the comfort of their homes, saving them both time and money. Additionally, it also alleviates workplace absenteeism.

Following the increasing popularity of virtual care, there have been changes in Medicare Health Plans to cater to doctors’ and patients’ needs during the pandemic. For instance, health policy providers must pay doctors who leverage telemedicine the same amount as physical appointments. Furthermore, cost-sharing among patients should not be more than in-person visits.

How Telemedicine Works

Established telemedicine companies such as Ourdoctor, use their virtual platforms to conduct online appointments. Others use publicly available software apps that include Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype. Both the doctor and patient must have access to a laptop, PC, or a smart device, although a high-resolution smartphone would suffice.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Telemedicine

Telemedicine is most effective when you need urgent care services, such as flu-like symptoms or minor injuries. Moreover, the virtualization of doctor visits makes it easy for healthcare providers to offer post-surgical care. That comes as good news to patients with limited mobility, eliminating the need to go through the hassle of heading to the physician’s office.

It is worth noting that virtual medical appointments are not applicable in every situation. Medical cases regarding acute respiratory complications or drug overdose require patients to go to the emergency room as quickly as possible. Additionally, virtual visits also limit the doctor when physical examinations are required. 

On the other hand, face-to-face appointments are appropriate for pediatric care because babies and children require vaccinations and immunizations. The doctor can better monitor their growth and development in a physical office setting. Overall, telemedicine is keeping patients safe by not having them be exposed to others in a doctor’s office. Depending on the severity of your issue, you can use telemedicine to determine whether your condition requires in-office care or can be treated through telemedicine.