Online medical consultations: the doctor comes to your home thanks to technology
Online medical consultations are one of the services provided by telemedicine whose use has increasedespecially due to the current pandemic. Online consultations allow you to access care from a healthcare professional remotely. So you can take advantage of its benefits from anywhere.
Medical consultations and telemedicine connect us to health
Online medical consultations benefit the patient because they can access health services, selecting quality specialists even if they are far from their residence. This eliminates many barriers to access to the healthcare field, since it can be done from the privacy of home.
For health and personal care professionals, online medical consultations represent a way to be more competitive and stand out with quality servicebeing a great opportunity to telecommute.
Institutions, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), recognize the importance of teleconsultation to provide adequate care and treatment during the current pandemic.
How do online medical consultations work?
Taking advantage of this telemedicine service is quite simple, you just need a computer, a smartphone or a tablet. In addition to having an Internet connection, webcam and audio. Computer platforms for online medical consultations mainly include the following technologies:
- Videoconference system, videochat or video call.
- Module to manage appointments.
- Module for notifications, chat, messaging and reminders (SMS, WhatsApp, among others).
- system for share and view files, photospatient record and medical history.
- Administrative modules to manage service contracts and payments.
- Mobile apps for easy access to telemedicine and telecare.
Mobile devices (m health), robotic assistants (chatbots) and big data techniques applied to medical analysis and artificial intelligence. These last ones are some of the disruptive technologies that expand the scope of online medical consultations.
Online medical consultations in simple steps
Although they do not replace all the needs of face to face medical consultations, without a doubt, the online consultation represents a useful complementary option to deal with many cases. These are the general steps to enjoy the benefits of online medical consultations:
- Hire a telemedicine service 24/7. A specific option is the personal or family plans of Movistar Salud. If you want more information, in the Living App Movistar Salud we tell you.
- Access the website or download the app of the telemedicine platform.
- Complete the form with the data for the initial registration.
to get your online medical consultations you have two optionswhich are not mutually exclusive:
- You can perform a digital pre assessment of symptoms.
- You can request your appointment directly or schedule a consultation with the doctor online.
At the time of the appointment, start the phone call, online chat or video call with the doctor. Then download the reports, online medical prescriptions, payment receipts and other information about your appointment or treatment.
Advantages of online medical consultations
Online consultation is an option that improves medical care when added to other services of e health, such as the digitization of medical records, online diagnosis and electronic medical prescriptions. Among its advantages are also:
- Cost savings, since online consultations are cheaper.
- Savings in transfer time, waiting time, appointment request and service payment, when applicable.
- Automatic registration of the appointment session (call or video consultation).
- Record of the information and instructions given by the doctor, which can be sent to your email.
- Greater comfort, accessing the service from wherever you are.
- Timely access to medical care, without geographic, time or distance limitations.
- Avoid self diagnosis and self medication. On the contrary, you have access to highly qualified professionals in different areas and specialties.
- Have a second medical opinion by a group of specialists.
- Online medical care helps decongest face to face care systems.
- Avoid contagion or exposure in waiting rooms, which is of utmost importance in times of pandemic.
Limitations of online medical consultations
However, even with all its advantages, online medical consultations also have their limitations. These are:
- In case of serious illness or a complicated medical emergency, online caremay be insufficient or inconclusive.
- Some patients require physical exams to establish a diagnosis.
- Initially you may have doubts about which specialist to select for your consultations.
- Many people prefer at least a personal first contact. They are not used to fully digital care.
telemedicine complements the face to face health system, it does not replace it completely. For this reason, the medical professional who treats you will tell you if it is necessary for you to go to a health center to carry out analyses, tests or check ups.
Online medical consultations are an option that improve service care of e health. They are added to the digitalization of the clinical history, the online diagnosis and the electronic medical prescription. Without a doubt, online medical consultations, as an e health service, have shown how technological innovations help improve our health care and our quality of life.
Header image by Harry Cunningham.