What is Telehealth?

Telehealth is defined as the use of electronic information and telecommunication technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health, and health administration. 

Telehealth can be delivered using video-conferencing, audio communication, and/or text-messaging using mobile phones, tablets, and desktop computers.

Telehealth has many applications in healthcare, including standard clinical care, counseling or therapy, patient education, professional consultant or supervision, and more. It is very convenient for the patient as Telehealth can be provided to a patient at home or work, or at another clinic or hospital. Now with mobile devices, the physician or the patient can be anywhere with access to the internet.

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How Does Telehealth Work?

How Telemedicine works is simple. Telemedicine is the use of technology that enables remote healthcare (Telehealth). Basically, it makes it possible for physicians to treat patients whenever needed and wherever the patient is, by using a computer or smartphone.

Here are a few of the situations in which telemedicine can be a great alternative to the traditional health care system:
  • Diagnosis of common medical problems such as high blood pressure, headache, sore throat, back pain, and asthma
  • Inquiries about various medical issues from your home
  • Faster refill of short-term medical prescriptions
  • Patient inability to leave the house due to sickness or bad weather conditions
Treatment and Services
  • Illness
  • Injury
  • Medication Refills
  • Wellness
  • Physician Referrals

Advantages of Telehealth

No transportation time or costs

When you see your doctor on your mobile device or computer, you can save money on gas, parking, and public transportation. Even better, you don’t waste time traveling or risk running into a traffic jam that makes you late for your appointment, or worse, late getting back to work.

No need to take time off of work

Speaking of work, video visits largely remove the need to take time off. You can simply schedule your visit during a break, or before or after work. You can be anywhere that offers sufficient privacy. You can comply with your doctor’s follow-up instructions and maintain your health without missing a day of work or wasting your precious paid time off.

Less chance of catching a new illness

Where can you be sure to find a lot of sick people? At the doctor’s office of course. While everyone does their best to prevent one patient from catching something from another, it is always possible, especially in crowded waiting rooms. By staying home, you get the care you need while avoiding the risk of exposure and the chance that you’ll pass your illness on to someone else.

Less time in the waiting room

If you choose a video visit via Telehealth technology, you’ll eliminate all that time spent looking at old magazines in a doctor’s office. Even if you don’t use Telehealth, choosing a practice that offers it will reduce your wait time by letting other patients be seen from home.

On-demand options

More and more physician’s practices are offering telemedicine these days, so there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to see your regular doctor via video. If you can’t, but still need remote access to care, there are a number of online-only, on-demand options on the market today. They can’t treat every condition, but can tackle a wide variety of problems. Some insurance companies pay for this type of care.

Access to Specialists

Some patients who need the care of a specialist must drive long distances and invest a lot of time for each visit. Telehealth makes it possible for you and your primary care physician to leverage the expertise of specialists who are not nearby. When it comes to serious health issues, you want to consult with the best, not the closest.

Eliminate child or elder care issues

Many of us have the responsibility for caring for children or older adults. Finding alternative care so that you can see the doctor can be difficult and expensive. Bringing them along can be stressful or impractical. Fortunately, Telehealth solves this challenge by allowing you to see your doctor while upholding your family responsibilities.

Better Health

When you are able to see your doctor as often as you need to, without the challenges of getting into the office, you can practice better management of your medication, lifestyle, and any chronic conditions you might have.

Given this list, it is not surprising that people are seeking out healthcare providers that offer the convenience and cost effectiveness of Telehealth. It is poised to have a major positive impact on the entire healthcare system, and ready to make life a little bit easier for you.