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Is Virtual Healthcare Right for You? What You Need to Know

May 20, 2019

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The virtual healthcare market is likely to surpass $13 billion by the end of 2026. The conventional health care method might change due to the improvements in technology. The belief that the best health care can only be delivered in person, by a trained medical practitioner is dying slowly.

There is a constant hike in health care costs, high aged population, and a shortage of physicians. This makes the conventional model unsustainable. Virtual healthcare can facilitate the industry in getting solutions to these problems.

Virtual healthcare is the delivery of healthcare services via technology such as videos, sensors, social platforms, and mobile apps. In virtual healthcare services delivered in spite of location and time. Using Virtual healthcare can help you access primary healthcare with ease.

Virtual healthcare has the potential of boosting the capacity of the existing primary care doctors. Virtual health care has an impact on common health care scenarios.

Read on to learn more!

1. Annual Patient Visit

Use of digital systems streamlines all in-person exams by getting information about the patients. They do so by sampling patients ‘symptom data and identifying available treatment options before the visit. The time that would have been used in by the physician to get patients information reduces drastically.

Virtual medical assistance takes the patient through the standard medical questions. They include the medical history of the family and symptoms exhibited. The combined information is analyzed via a diagnostic engine.

The physician outlines the medical options that the patient requires before they come in for a physical visit. Standard devices such as biometric and wearable sensors, aid in the collection of patients’ information. Concerns prompting a visit are addressed at this point.

2. Ongoing Patient Management

Virtual healthcare visits are providing an alternative to physical visits for ongoing patients needs. Patients conclude clinical exchanges via secure messaging. The patients submit images, questions, and information for physical response and review.

A perfect example where a virtual visit is applicable is the management of hypertension. It is an area that has more than 20 percent of annual patients in outpatient.

It’s possible that each patient gets most visits through virtual assistance and only one in-person visit. Such an arrangement would spare time to attend to more medical cases.

3. Self-Care

Self-care for chronic conditions is one of the significant therapeutic areas where virtual health helps. The assistance helps patients in remaining stable medically. An example of such cases is whereby an adult with diabetes can use mobile technology to manage his/her condition.

Livongo and WellDoc can help them manage their lifestyle and reduce the need to have in-person visits. Sophisticated medical analytics can track, trace, and assess patients’ data, such as the level of blood glucose. Technology can pinpoint and give suggestions of personalized self-management schedule.

4. Mental Health

To offer virtual healthcare to mental health patients, a SilverCloud based in Ireland has synchronized asynchronous care and behavioral therapy. The technology aims to portray the efficiency of smart technology in providing meaningful health solutions and boosting productivity.

The platform allows more users to access mental health services. It also gives patients the option of remaining anonymous. It helps them to stay clear of in-person visits that can lead to stigmatization.

For you to manage to utilize virtual healthcare properly, there are several things that you need to understand.

How It Works

You can find several platforms online notification popping up to give you direct contact to health care providers. It is simplified because you can easily reach them via your smartphone or computer. Various types of health care providers are listed, and their reviews are given.

When you visit the site, you choose the kind of doctor you want. You automatically get connected with one who is within your locality. The proximity facilitates a physical consultation if need be.

All the doctors available are board-certified and can offer you in-depth tests and prescriptions. However; there is a limit to the prescriptions that they can write during the virtual sessions. In some cases, you might require to continue with some physical appointments.

The concept can sound like a high-tech and unreachable, but it has been ongoing for some time. Virtual healthcare comes in handy to housebound patients and people living in rural regions. It is getting a lot of attention lately, as insurers are getting more pressure to cover virtual health care.

Approximate Costs

In most cases, patients are assessing doctors at a lower price. Depending on the program you have enrolled in and your insurance, you can owe the healthcare provider nothing. At times, you might only remit the standard pay.

The average costs incurred on the online service are estimated to be half the costs of visiting a primary health care provider physically. If you can compare the prices to include ER, they are much lower.

Availability

Virtual healthcare is the best option for someone who wants convenience and reduced costs. However, it has disadvantages that include the availability of the type of doctor you need. Accessing the doctor depends on your location, and you might have to wait a while for your appointment.

Some regions have restrictions to the health care provider you can access. For example: if you do not live in a particular area, you cannot be attended to by virtual healthcare provider you have no prior relationship.

Final Thoughts on Virtual Healthcare

Virtual healthcare has streamlined patient care, especially in simple tasks such as universal symptom triage. The voice-based application gives patients a sharper sense of urgency in their symptoms. It spares them from guessing based on an internet search.

The health care consumers are interested in these technological changes. They want to use digital technologies to control how, when, and where they can get care services. Because of this, they are more open to interacting with new technology to get a new health care model.

As the proliferation of digital applications increase in health care services, the array of benefits offered will improve the performance of the industry. Outcomes and efficiency will push it into a higher sustainable path.

The health care system has been changed to withstand a labor shortage and increased aging population. Without virtual healthcare measures in place, an urgent increase in trained medical personnel was inevitable.

For more about your health, read this post on posture and spine health.