Telehealth is an industry that has almost quadrupled in size since 2019 and is set to keep growing at a rapid rate throughout the rest of this decade. In short, the future of healthcare has truly arrived. However, you’re probably wondering “why use telehealth services instead of the traditional healthcare I’ve used for decades?”
This quick guide will help you understand the benefits and determine whether it’s right for you.
Table of Contents
- What Is Telehealth?
- What Can Telehealth Be Used For?
- How Does Telehealth Work?
- How Does Telehealth Differ From Physical Care?
- Who Should Use Telehealth?
- Why Should You Use Telehealth?
- How Can DrHouse Help You?
What Is Telehealth?
Telehealth is a term that relates to the remote delivery of healthcare information, education, and services via the use of modern tech systems. In short, it is where modern technology meets healthcare and has now been used at least once by 90% of Americans.
For most telehealth users, however, the focus is on telemedicine. Telehealth services can be delivered via telephone, text, email, apps, websites, photos and videos, or live video chat. In a world where we all have live webcams via smartphones and related devices, live video appointments have become the most frequently used solution.
What Can Telehealth Be Used For?
Naturally, there are some limitations to telehealth. For example, it cannot be used for testing bloods or completing certain examinations and body imaging practices. Nevertheless, it may be used in a wide range of situations. Its capabilities include but are not limited to;
- Virtual appointments to complete a diagnosis and provide online prescriptions,
- Measuring weight, blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar levels, and other metrics through manual or device-assisted recordings.
- Check test results, manage repeat prescriptions, schedule appointments, and facilitate messages between doctors and patients.
- Coordinate care between care providers and other professionals involved in the patient’s care program.
- Sharing information instantly with other providers and sending reminders about screenings and other upcoming in-person appointments.
When asking “why use telehealth services?”, it is clear that their versatility and ability to break down several perceived barriers to healthcare will play an important role. Even when telemedicine cannot provide the desired answers, online doctors can advise patients on their next steps.
How Does Telehealth Work?
Before thinking about the reasons to use telehealth care, patients should also know how virtual doctor visits work. Ultimately, the process is fairly straightforward. Once you are registered with your chosen telehealth provider, like DrHouse, you will simply need;
- Book an appointment with an online doctor,
- Speak to your doctor about the health condition for a diagnosis or ongoing management,
- Receive any necessary prescriptions, which can be collected in the same way that traditional healthcare works, or treatment plans.
A telehealth doctor is no different to an in-person doctor and can support you with a wide range of conditions. Similarly, you can still use health insurance plans to pay for your telehealth services.
How Does Telehealth Differ From Physical Care?
Ultimately, telehealth and physical care provide very similar functions and are both designed to deliver quality patient care. However, telehealth does differ from in-person care. While you won’t be in the same room as the doctor, you will get to spend more time with them. Moreover, it is possible to gain support without needing to leave your home.
For some patients, especially those with chronic conditions, it may be necessary to purchase additional equipment like blood pressure machines. However, over 75% of patients with high blood pressure do not have it under control. So, the opportunity to monitor this on a daily basis can be viewed as an advantage.
Who Should Use Telehealth?
The concept of using remote medical services to reduce the need for in-office healthcare services dates back to the 19th century and the use of telephone appointments while various forms of remote healthcare have been used ever since. However, the telehealth sector has evolved at an exponential rate in recent years. While it can be used for patients across all demographics, it is particularly effective for;
- Patients with chronic health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure,
- Anyone experiencing potentially embarrassing health issues,
- Patients who are living with ongoing mental health issues,
- Individuals who cannot get to an in-person appointment,
- Patients with low immune systems that could be prone to viruses,
- Caregivers who need extra support when delivering in-home services.
Why Should You Use Telehealth?
Understanding what telehealth can do is one thing but the big question is why use telehealth? Many people turned to it during the lockdown period but the fact that millions have continued to embrace it after the pandemic should provide instant encouragement.
However, it’s important to consider the direct benefits. The most telling features are detailed below;
- It has been shown to deliver improved patient outcomes for the management of diabetes and an array of other conditions.
- Choosing telehealth appointments over in-person appointments cuts the average costs by around half.
- Using an online doctor promotes better accessibility when living in a remote location or your local doctor is busy.
- Telehealth services allow you to stay at home and avoid the risk of contracting viruses inside a doctor’s practice.
- Telehealth appointments will not disrupt your entire day, especially as they can be arranged on a 24/7 basis.
- Opting for telehealth services will allow patients to speak to just one doctor rather than share their data with receptionists and other patients.
In short, telehealth services offer an affordable, accessible, and highly practical solution. When suitable for your type of health complaint and care requirements, it should be considered the first choice.
How Can DrHouse Help You?
When you need to connect to a professional telehealth provider fast, DrHouse can connect you to an online doctor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In the majority of cases, your appointment can be arranged within as little as 15 minutes – or at a convenient time for you – to help you gain the healthcare services you deserve.
Telehealth, and especially telemedicine, has now become the norm for patients across multiple age groups. While it cannot be used for every type of health care, modern solutions have helped health providers deliver better patient outcomes for millions. If you wish to discover the benefits first-hand, DrHouse is the perfect solution.
- Jennifer K. Sun, MS, Jacqui Smith, PhD, Self-Perceptions of Aging and Perceived Barriers to Care: Reasons for Health Care Delay, The Gerontologist, Volume 57, Issue suppl_2, August 2017, Pages S216–S226, https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnx014
- Facts About Hypertension. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/facts.htm
- Telehealth: Technology meets health care. Mayo Clinic. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/telehealth/art-20044878
- Board on Health Care Services; Institute of Medicine. The Role of Telehealth in an Evolving Health Care Environment: Workshop Summary. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2012 Nov 20. 3, The Evolution of Telehealth: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going? Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK207141/
- Dejun Su, Junmin Zhou, Megan S. Kelley, Tzeyu L. Michaud, Mohammad Siahpush, Jungyoon Kim, Fernando Wilson, Jim P. Stimpson, José A. Pagán. Does telemedicine improve treatment outcomes for diabetes? A meta-analysis of results from 55 randomized controlled trials. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, Volume 116, 2016, Pages 136-148, ISSN 0168-8227. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.diabres.2016.04.019.