Today’s world is driving the health sector to continue and accelerate its evolutionary process. Today’s patients seek and expect timely and efficient medical care. The online doctor is emerging as one of the leading health care modalities of the future. Learn here what it is and what its benefits are.
The rise of ehealth
Today, it is no longer necessary for the patient and the doctor to be in the same space to interact. Information and communication technologies allow health care to be delivered at a distance. The trend has emerged as an attractive alternative to face-to-face consultations in the context of the pandemic. In fact, Frost & Sullivan report that eHealth adoption has accelerated by about two years by 2020.
In health, internet-connected devices with cameras and microphones allow people to communicate with a doctor online to access health services. According to Frost & Sullivan, online doctor visits have increased 124% in the United States throughout the year. Likewise, remote health monitoring mechanisms, such as specialized sensors and so-called wearables, contribute to the online diagnosis.
They also contribute to the close monitoring of chronic patients or those under treatment.
Other advantages of telemedicine include:
- Respond to emergencies with greater speed.
- Optimize the time of health professionals.
- Reduce biosecurity risks for patients and caregivers.
- Enable preventive patient care using key information from predictive analytics.
- Promote access to medical care in rural or isolated areas.
- Reduce operating costs in health organizations.
Health care through an online doctor
Using an online medical line to access care can occur in several ways. On the one hand, health providers frequently have consultations with an online doctor as an alternative to a face-to-face meeting.
On the other hand, there are already doctor services on demand. They connect people to an online doctor available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As is the case with Movistar Salud, Telefónica’s telemedicine service, which you can learn in depth from the Movistar Salud Living App. The Now Clinic program, of the American organization Southwest Medical, offers virtual appointments with doctors with a waiting period of fewer than ten minutes. Thus, it has conquered more than 30 thousand new patients.
Similarly, the Doctor on Demand company makes consultations by video call. In addition, it issues for each patient who needs it, an online prescription in pharmacies near their location.
The experience of being treated by an online doctor
Are there substantial differences between a face-to-face consultation and an online consultation with a doctor? The evidence says that it varies according to the specific health situation.
Research indicates that telemedicine care for ailments such as minor injuries, stomach pain, and nausea is as effective as it is in person. Others show that it may not be for the diagnosis of sore throats or respiratory infections, for example.
A cardiology telemedicine experiment in Spain indicates that this care modality would be highly effective in solving the situations of patients under follow-up. Using the online medical history and telephone calls, the cardiology service of the Juan Ramón Jiménez University Hospital, in Huelva, attended 1,721 consultations over 47 days (Isasti & Díaz, 2020).
The remote care of the 1024 patients in follow-up appointments resulted in:
- 74., 6% of the reasons for consultation resolved, requiring a complementary test or review.
- 25.3% of the reasons for consultation resolved without the need for complementary care.
- 0.1% required face-to-face attention.
Thus, accessing timely and effective health care through an online doctor is no longer a thing of the future. With this tool, accessing an efficient and remote health service is now possible. The current situation, as a result of the pandemic, has allowed a faster development of this type of tool. Telemedicine is now a key and necessary service, at your fingertips.