How is Coronavirus Driving Patients to Online Doctor Consultations?

With the United States and Europe facing lockdown and plummeting economies during the Coronavirus outbreak, the population worldwide has entered in a “panic mode” right now. And adding to that, the fear of contracting this virus and a saturated medical care system is driving them to go online for their medical consultations. A concept that is popularly referred to as “telemedicine” or “telehealth.”

Although most of the companies are marketing it as the “invention of today,” one can account for its presence as the healthcare delivery system in the late 1960s as well. However, telemedicine services saw its breakthrough only in the last five years. Still, only a few individuals were keen on using this technology. 

But, since the world is facing such a massive hit, the primary healthcare agencies and trusted health foundations are advising people to increase their dependency on telemedicine or an online doctor visit? So, what changed after the Covid-19 outbreak? Let’s jump right in and understand the reasons behind this change in dynamics.

What is Pushing Patients to Finally Take The Leap?

Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, telemedicine companies were trying hard to be in the market since a significant percent of the population was still hesitant about online doctor visits. However, after the world was hit with this deadly virus, doctors and hospitals are readily asking their patients not to show up unannounced to any emergency rooms or doctor’s office. 

You may wonder why? Here are some of the reasons that are making people trust online consultations more than ever. 

Practicing Social Distancing is Easier 

Scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals are advising patients to practice social distancing. And whether you like it or not, the rule applies to every place, even hospitals, and emergency care units as well. So, by using your phone or computer, patients can easily access any health emergency without exposing themselves or others to any potential threat. It is particularly suitable for high-risk patients with any form of serious illness. So, you can easily substitute your trip to a doctor’s clinic with a virtual visit. 

Isn’t it interesting that you can avoid bustling waiting rooms so easily by just switching to your smartphone for a routine checkup? It certainly is. 

Let me give you an example to help you understand the worth of online doctor visits in the Coronavirus pandemic. For instance, Dr. Danielle DeHoratius, a dermatologist, consulted one of her patients for her eye rash. However, with the examination, she found that her patient had come in contact with the virus. So, she advised her to self-quarantine. She sent her prescription to a pharmacy. In short, the doctor’s effort halted the spread of the virus from her. And all of this was done on a video call. Such an easy process. Isn’t it?

More Consultations in Lesser Time Frame

Many areas are short of hospitals or emergency care services, and the intervention of telemedicine could help patients living in such areas with the best medicare facilities from the comfort of their home. Again, no exposure to viruses at all. The truth is, telehealth offers doctors to see more patients since consultations take less time than in-person visits. And as a patient it definitely gives you more time to make your quarantine period more productive

Let’s look at another example. Dr. Judd Hollander, head of Jefferson’s Strategic Health Initiative, shared that around 20 doctors were able to handle approximately 1200 virtual consultations in a day. Isn’t that huge? And they are planning to use a chatbot to screen out low-risk patients. That’s how doctors can maintain focus and attention towards higher-risk patients easily. 

So, here it is: You can limit the spread of the virus while increasing the number of consultations per doctor available. 

How is The Government Responding to Such a Sudden Change?

Since the country is facing an issue of a crippling healthcare system, the government announced a major expansion of telemedicine options allowing the public to enroll in Medicare and talk to a doctor by phone or video chat at no additional charges. However, you might be asked to wait for doctor consultations since it is facing a sudden influx of patients. 

So, you can use different telemedicine platform vendors. Here are a few examples of private companies that will help you reach the best doctors online. These include eVisit, Vsee, Spruce Health, Online Medical Clinics, and a lot of others. Such portals are aiming to make the process easier for both patients and doctors. Consequently, ensuring that every individual gets access to healthcare services without any hindrance. 

Final Thoughts 

The idea of seeing a doctor online using your computer or smartphone might seem a relatively new concept. However, if you start using it as a primary source of reaching out to your healthcare provider can help you to limit your chances of contracting the virus quite easily. However, that does not mean the potential use for online doctor visits is only to assist Coronavirus-infected patients. 

Its focus is to provide help to the patients for their routine care or for managing emergency conditions as well. That’s the only way to ensure your safety amid the Covid-19 crisis. Remember: Practice social distancing and in times of healthcare emergencies, switch to online doctor visits right away.