Telehealth is the Future of Doctor Visits

by Aug 26, 2018

What’s better than video chatting with your friends? Video chatting with doctors. Telehealth is the future: it’s a technology that started a few years ago and is absolutely BOOMING, especially among younger generations. There are varying categories within the telehealth field, but for the purpose of this blog we will focus on live video. It is safe to say that telehealth is the future, so here are some reasons you should check this technology out:

Convenience

If you’re anything like me, leaving bed in the morning is THE WORST. Let alone when you wake up sick with the flu. You know you need that Tamiflu ASAP but the number of steps in between you and that cure seem incredibly daunting. You’re going to have to get out of bed, get dressed, drive to the doctor’s office, wait in line with tons of other sick people, finally see the doctor, drive to the pharmacy to pick up your prescription, and hours later finally return home to your bed.

Merritt Hawkins, a physician recruiting company, announced findings of a survey they conducted – since 2014, the new patient physician appointment scheduling time has increased by 30 percent.

These online/digital doctor visits allow you to lower your scheduling and wait times. You phone in from the convenience of your house or even your bed. Just a quick search in the app store and you find a variety of apps – MDLIVE, Teladoc, Doctor On Demand, and Amwell are among the first few results. Each app provides users with a similar experience of pairing you with a doctor that will listen to your symptoms and prescribe a medicine to help.

Immediate Response

Another reason to check telehealth out is the response time. The goal is to have users talking to a doctor in under 5 minutes and have your experience take under 30 minutes total. There are cases where you would have to be referred to a local physician. This is if the online doctor could not recognize the symptoms or suggests further care that they can’t provide.

On Amwell’s site, it mentions the main health concerns they diagnose are: sinus infections, allergies, cold sore, flu, UTIs, rashes, and pink eye. This site also boasts that 85% of patients have a resolved issue after their telehealth conversation. The other 15% of patients are recommended to see another doctor for additional examinations. The fields of telehealth are not limited to just general care but branch into psychiatrists or nutritionists.

Price

While scrolling through the apps, almost all of them are free to download. The only cost is that of the visit with the doctor, and these are made to be affordable. A Wall Street Journal article mentions some captivating statistics about the prices of these visits compared to others in the industry:

  • Telehealth visit = $45
  • Doctor’s office = $100
  • Urgent-care clinic = $160
  • Emergency room = over $750

Being healthy and happy = priceless. The prices alone are enough to bring a lot of financially conscious individuals to this field. Telehealth visits are rapidly increasing. About half of physician groups are now offering telemedicine and three-fourths of hospitals. These trends are pushing hospitals and practices to implement telemedicine all across the country.

Test It Out For Yourself

Sometimes it is hard to make it to the doctor, whether you’re just feeling lazy, your car is broken, or the weather is awful. Time Magazine even confirms that it is literally human nature to want to put in the least amount of effort in order to reap the most amount of benefit. We can’t blame ourselves for this.

The phrase “don’t knock it until you try it” feels applicable here. There will never be a replacement for speaking face to face and building a personal connection with a primary physician. However, the move to digital in the medical field is happening and it might be time to jump on board.

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