Telehealth — sometimes called telemedicine — is the use of electronic information and telecommunication technologies to access health care services remotely and manage your health care. “Modern” informational technology meets classic medicine; all you need is a phone or a device with internet access you are all set, able to get medical care or services through the telehealth platform. Here you are able to:
- Communicate with your provider live in real time
- Send and receive messages from your provider using chat messaging, email, secure messaging, and secure file exchange.
- Use remote patient monitoring – allowing your provider to evaluate you at home
What types of care are suited for telehealth?
Telehealth is not a perfect fit for everyone or every medical condition. A consultation with your provider is advised to let you know whether telehealth is right for your health needs. Having said that, a telehealth visit is designed to managed a variety of health care needs. Services like medication management and online counseling are particularly suited to telehealth as consistent and regular visits improve outcomes.
Benefits of telehealth
Although virtual visits may not be as common as traditional in person doctor’s appointments, there are many benefits to this visit type; these include:
- Limiting physical contact; more so during this COVID-19 era
- Visiting virtually can address health issues for patients who are remote
- Make services more convenient for people with limited mobility, time or transportation options.
- Cuts down on commuting; travel in bad weather and also addresses a host of social concerns (including time off from work, need for child care e.t.c.)
- Using virtual health care tools can improve access to healthcare; may shorten wait times to see a provider and expand the range of access to specialists
- Improve communication and coordination of care among members of a health care team and a patient.
- Provide support for self-management of health care.