The healthcare industry has been slow to adopt new technologies, and for decades most doctors have taken a hands-on approach to checkups.
However, recent advances in virtual care have radically changed the way doctors diagnose and treat patients. In some cases, this new technology is saving lives.
- Virtual medical care has a number of advantages over traditional office visits, for one, virtual visits are often cheaper for patients. Instead of having to make an appointment and visit the doctor’s office, a patient can simply log in when it is convenient for them and spend as much time as they need.
- This saves time on commuting and waiting around in a crowded waiting room, not to mention the time cost of missing work or school.
- Second, virtual visits have been shown to be more effective than in-person visits by some metrics.
- Third, these remote doctors are often specialized in narrow areas like dermatology or ophthalmology, so if you want a visit with an eye doctor who specializes in glaucoma but doesn’t live near one, then virtual care is perfect for you.
- Finally, while there are risks associated with being examined remotely by a doctor that you’ve never met before, many people report feeling more comfortable with their physician because they know so much about them beforehand.
How doctors are using virtual medical care
With the rise of virtual medical care, more doctors are using it to remotely diagnose and treat patients. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Virtual Reality, 30 percent of physicians surveyed said they had used virtual health technologies for patient care.
This technology can be especially beneficial for patients who live in remote areas or have disabilities that make traveling to a doctor’s office difficult.
We’re seeing people with all sorts of problems ranging from skin cancer to rare diseases, says Dr. Hagens, the researcher who led the study, The benefits are huge and it’s only going to increase.
Doctors can use this technology in many ways, but one of the most common is telemedicine consultations, when they do not feel comfortable giving a diagnosis over the phone or sending prescriptions without further examination, they may recommend a video chat with experts at their practice who can provide an accurate diagnosis remotely by virtually examining patients’ symptoms and asking relevant questions.
The advantages of virtual medical care
For many patients, it is a great alternative to in-person care, many people are underinsured and cannot afford expensive in-person visits to the doctor’s office.
A virtual consultation will allow them to have the same quality of care without spending the money on transportation.
There are also concerns about privacy with in-person visits, with virtual care, it’s easier than ever to maintain confidentiality due to distance and the lack of physical contact.
They are also a great way for doctors to connect with patients who may not otherwise make an appointment in person, if you don’t feel like coming into the office or can’t get there due to your location, you can simply interact with your doctor online where they will diagnose your condition and prescribe any necessary medication or treatment plans.
Another advantage is that doctors can see more patients per day by using this technology while still maintaining a high quality of service as opposed to traditional methods where seeing one patient at a time would take much longer.