When’s the last time you heard someone say that they love going to the doctor? Probably never. The hours are inconvenient, the experience is unpleasant, and it’s an added expense.
For many people, this means that they just skip regular doctors’ visits, even knowing how much of an impact it can have on their health. If you’re one of these people, telehealth services could be the solution.
What are Telehealth Services?
Telehealth, also known as telemedicine, refers to digital doctor visits. Using medical video conferencing technology, you can have an open discussion with your doctor without visiting the office.
In some cases, there are digital tools you can use to send your doctor all your health measurements (like weight, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and more).
Advantages of Telehealth Services
Telemedicine is a valuable tool for patients in so many ways, but here are just a few to consider:
The most obvious advantage of telehealth services is their convenience. A study in the American Journal of Managed Care found that the average doctor visit takes over two hours (between travel time, wait time, and care time).
As important as we all know doctors’ visits are, it’s extremely difficult to find two hours for an appointment. That’s especially true considering that most physician offices are only open during patients’ usual work hours.
Telemedicine, however, skips the drive time and the wait time, making it much easier to schedule.
For people who don’t have consistent, reliable transportation, it can be a struggle to get to work every day, let alone get to a doctor’s office.
In these cases, telemedicine can literally be a lifesaver by bringing care to people who couldn’t otherwise get it.
One of the most common barriers to consistent healthcare is the cost. Whether you have no insurance, high-deductible insurance, or high copays, many families can’t afford frequent visits to the doctor.
A 2017 study found that telemedicine saved patients $50 per visit on average. That can make the difference between whether a person can or can’t afford the care they need.
If you live in a rural area or a small town, you probably don’t have a wide selection of doctors to choose from. Telemedicine, on the other hand, turns this around.
There’s an undeniable advantage that comes with choosing a doctor who makes you feel comfortable. It’s also important to be able to see a doctor in the area of expertise you need.
With telemedicine, you’re not limited to the physicians and specialists in your geographic area, which opens infinite doors.
All the factors above (cost, time, transportation, physician selection) can delay a doctor’s visit. Especially if you need to see an in-demand physician, it can take months before an opening in their schedule coincides with yours.
For many health issues, those months can be the difference between a minor issue and a serious complication. Whether you’re seeking telemedicine for pain management, a general check-up, or another issue, the faster response time is no small advantage.
How to Get Telemedicine
Every patient’s healthcare needs are different, and ultimately, you need to find out what works best for you. Based on all the advantages alone, telemedicine is one more option to consider.
If telehealth services sound like the right choice for you, start shopping for a telemedicine provider online today.