If you’ve got an ongoing medical issue, you may not want to make the trek into the doctor’s office to see your primary care doctor. If you’re one of those folks who wishes you could just walk to your doctor online, well you’re in luck.
Over the last several years, telemedicine has grown in popularity as a way to receive convenient medical care. A recent study indicated that at least 52% of respondents were willing to use virtual healthcare in order to see their provider. What’s more, the telemedicine or virtual doctor industry projects to be worth more than $36 billion by 2020.
As much as you might like paying your doctor a visit in person, let’s face it: doctors get swamped. A general physician in the U.S. gets more than 3,500 visits a year and specialists receive about 2,700 visits. Within all those visits, doctors only spend about 13-16 minutes with a patient, so try as they might, they may not be able to give everyone a large chunk of their time.
That’s where telemedicine and talking to an online doctor comes in. Telemedicine and virtual health providers rely on three methods of approach for patients:
- Providing patients with virtual care by their primary care provider.
- Relying on the patient seeing a different care provider, but the provider is still in the same organization as the patient’s primary care doctor.
- Offering a different care provider from a different organization.
When it comes to getting convenient medical care, telemedicine offers several advantages including:
- No waiting for appointments: Traditionally if you or a member of your family is feeling ill, you might have to take time off of work to go to a doctors appointment to get the care you need. One way that telemedicine offers convenient medical care is that you don’t have to take time off of work anymore.. Instead, you can schedule virtual appoints for times that work better for your schedule. As an added bonus, you can have your teleconference in a private and you can get the help you need to cure your ills a lot faster.
- No need for child care: Another benefit of telemedicine is you don’t have to worry about arranging care for your children or your elderly relatives. Bringing them to a doctor’s office can be a stressful experience. Telemedicine eliminates that stress by allowing you to have a conversation with a doctor right in the privacy of your own home if you wish.
- Options: One of the best ways telemedicine offers convenient medical care is by offering on-demand care for various illnesses. If you need access to medicine, but can’t schedule an appointment with your doctor, many insurance companies cover on-demand medical care and there are several on-demand options are available on the market for things like a cold and allergies.
- Talking with specialists: If you need to see a specialist for a specific medical problem, telemedicine offers the chance to talk to a specialist without having to travel a long distance. You can consult with local specialists or national renowned specialists about your problem rather than being limited to who you can see for help based on where you live.
- Staying healthy: Another big benefit of telemedicine is that you stay healthier. If you’ve ever visited a doctor’s office, you’ve likely been surrounded by people coughing and sneezing all over the place, even if they’re wearing surgical masks. Rather than having to deal with an unhealthy environment, you can have an online consultation and stay healthier in the process.
When it comes to your overall health, telemedicine gives you the chance to be healthier since you’re not having to visit doctors offices to get the treatment you need and you can better manage your medications and any ongoing issues you have with online doctor visits. Dealing with medical issues, whether yours or a loved one’s can be a stressful thing and one of the advantages of telemedicine is that it helps eliminate stress. Instead of spending time in doctors offices or rushing off to the ER or a 24 hour urgent care, you can get the care you need from places that work for you and at times that work for your schedule.