While the idea of seeing a doctor via your cellphone or computer is hardly new, telemedicine has yet to take off in its entirety in the United States. Almost all health insurance plans do usually offer people the option of talking to a doctor or a nurse online as an alternative to heading to an urgent care center or an emergency room. Still, many people don’t make use of this facility. Now hospital networks, clinics and doctors are rethinking how the latest technology can be used to keep the concerned calm and away from all sorts of clinical care. This can help steer the most at risk to the appropriate treatment during the global outbreak of Coronavirus.
The need of the hour
COVID-19 has taken the entire world in its grip, while the global death toll is in thousands. The virus has affected every country, while deaths have been reported from every corner of the world. Many hospitals are made into isolation centers as infected patients are held there. Therefore, going to the hospital is out of the question and during such times, telemedicine, which has long been in the shadows, has stepped out to help people in its full capacity.
How can telemedicine help?
By using computers or phones, telemedicine providers will let patients know about whether they need to be tested or seen instead of showing up unannounced at the hospital’s emergency room. Patients, mainly those who could be at high risk for severe illness if they were infected, can easily opt to substitute a trip to the hospital with a virtual visit. This includes routine check-in with a primary care doctor or a specialist. That way, they can easily avoid crowded waiting rooms and potential infections.
The capacity of telemedicine
All health systems are currently racing to adapt and even develop various virtual services that can serve as their front line for patients. But virtual care has its limits, of course, and most of the start-ups and others promoting their services might not be fully equipped to handle patients who could be potential carriers of the virus. But the whole idea of using telemedicine to prevent further transmission of the virus is being adopted quickly.
Taking it a step further
Many hospital networks are also thinking about how they can use the same technology to deliver health care at home, particularly for patients who are at high risk because of severe medical conditions or is a carrier of the COVID-19 but can be treated safely at home. People at their home with a basic understanding of medicine could be taught to test blood sugars or take their blood pressure while a doctor or nurse could be available over video.
These are tough times, and everybody recognizes this is an all-hands-on-deck moment. We need to scale up and stand strong as it is the need of the hour. If you feel the need to visit a doctor, then you can consult our professional and certified telemedicine providers who are well equipped to take care of you in the best way possible for you.