You may have heard of telehealth services during the coronavirus pandemic. Perhaps you’ve heard of news reports recommending it as a way to get medical care despite social distancing. However, do you know how it works and how it can help you?
To answer this question, we’ll talk more about telehealth’s growing popularity. Then, we will go through its features and weigh its pros and cons. More importantly, see why it’s here to stay and how it may improve in the long run.
At the time of writing, the pandemic is still a pressing public health issue. Fortunately, online health services can help you even during the lockdowns. Learn its various features so you know the assistance you may receive in case of an emergency.
Are telemedicine and telehealth the same?
Before we talk about telehealth, let’s compare it to telemedicine. People often think they mean the same thing. However, there’s a key difference between them.
The latter provides care for patients using telecom services. You’ve probably seen people talking to their doctor via online calls. This counts as a doctor’s visit!
Here’s another way it can help. Let’s say you need your X-ray checked. However, the local radiologist is on leave. This type of healthcare lets you send it to another hospital.
They could check your results for you. This speeds things up without spending time and money going to another clinic. However, telehealth services can do more than that.
That’s because telemedicine is one of the many telehealth services. It lets you do more than just consult your doctor from far away. Here are a few of its features:
- Real-time monitoring – Some people with major illnesses need to check their vital signs constantly. This may involve tracking their blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight. A wearable device can measure these in real-time then send the results to a doctor.
- Patient portals – You get an app or website that lets you access these services. For example, you may request refills for your meds, check your test results, and set an appointment.
- Share info – Your patient portal may send info to centers for Medicare, Medicaid, and health providers.
- Notifications – You may receive alerts for various health services. For example, get a reminder when you’re due for a COVID-19 vaccine shot.
- Monitoring old folks – You can see if older people at home are getting enough rest and food. Also, you may confirm they’re taking their meds at the right time.
- Medical education – Online health services also help people pursue healthcare education. For example, these can help them prepare for Board Exams.