The COVID pandemic has transformed lives across the country. Among the innovations that has sprung from the crisis, is the rise of telemedicine services. As school, work, and events have gone virtual, so has the doctor’s office. Being able to speak to a doctor about any medical issue and avoid spending time in a waiting room has become an appealing option for many looking to get the health services they need while mitigating the spread of the coronavirus.
We like to say that telemedicine can be the first line of defense for any patient. The first part of a telemedicine appointment will be the triage, where the doctor or medical professional will listen to the patient describe their symptoms and determine a diagnosis of the patient. If further examination or testing is required, then the doctor will instruct the patient with next steps. But most of the time, the doctor will be able to offer a diagnosis and prescribe any necessary medications.
Telemedicine is a great solution for the entire family. Parents trying to navigate childcare, virtual school, in-person school, or other activities don’t have to worry about inconveniencing the entire family to attend to one child’s medical needs. Moms and dads don’t have to miss a doctor’s appointment because they are too busy with work or parenting duties. Families can talk to a doctor from anywhere as long as they have a device with a camera that can connect to the Internet.
Another trend we are seeing with telemedicine is an increase in demand for telepsychiatry and teletherapy. Compared to traditional psychiatry and therapy, telepsychiatry and teletherapy offer benefits such as convenience, affordability, and privacy. Telepsychiatry and teletherapy make it easy to discuss sensitive mental health-related issues from the privacy of home without having to interact with many people on the way to and from the psychiatrist’s or therapist’s office.
There are a variety of services, companies, and options when it comes to receiving healthcare virtually. With SAMI-Aid, patients don’t need to answer any insurance questions and they never have to leave the comfort of their homes. If follow up tests are needed, SAMI-Aid will provide a list of local testing facilities and their prices, so patients can decide where they want to go instead of the doctor’s brick and mortar office. Other telemedicine services may work with a specific insurance plan or doctor’s office depending on how they are structured and the services that they offer.
One conclusion that we can gather from this past year is that telemedicine is here to stay. Doctors like telemedicine because it can be the most cost-effective use of a doctor’s time. Patients like telemedicine because it removes the experience of the doctor’s waiting room. Even as more people are vaccinated against the coronavirus and we start looking at life post-pandemic, telemedicine will continue to grow in popularity, affordability, availability, and service offerings. If you’ve been putting off that doctor’s appointment for any reason, consider making a telemedicine appointment and take back control of your healthcare.
Written by: Bijan Farhangui, CEO SAMI-Aid
Bijan Farhangui is the founder and CEO of SAMI-Aid, a patient-focused telemedicine platform and healthcare concierge company. Learn more at samiaid.com.