The healthcare industry has evolved rapidly as new technology has become available. Telehealth (using real-time video to meet with providers as opposed to in-office visits) has become even more popular after the pandemic hit and the vulnerable population becomes more vulnerable by venturing out to public places like doctor offices. But the benefits of telehealth stretch much further than sheltering people during a global pandemic. Telehealth empowers patients to take control of their healthcare in a variety of ways.
Six ways telehealth can help you take control of your healthcare
- Commute Time – Say goodbye to the burden of commute time for short doctor visits. With telehealth, you can log in from a computer, smartphone or tablet to visit with your doctor. For those who struggle to find transportation or time to drive to an appointment, this barrier is completely removed, opening up access to health care that many couldn’t reach before.
- Eliminate Wait Times – Wait times are difficult for many people. Especially for those who have to make special arrangements with transportation just to make it to an appointment. Telehealth removes lengthy wait times and makes shorter wait times much more comfortable.
- Comfort, Security, Privacy – Many people feel that a certain amount of privacy is taken from them by sitting in traditional brick-and-mortar buildings where they may run into people that they know. Telehealth is 100% secure and private – allowing patients the opportunity to meet with a provider that they might hesitate to schedule an in-office appointment with due to privacy concerns.
- Geographical Limitations – There are areas of the United States where residents do not have access to certain types of healthcare locally and have to travel, sometimes hundreds of miles, to get the care that they need. Telehealth may not be able to replace some in-office visits – but it can certainly decrease the amount of time a patient needs to travel to be seen or to meet for follow-up appointments.
- Physical Limitations – Geographical locations aren’t the only barrier that can stop patients from scheduling a follow-up appointment with a physician. Those who are recovering from surgery or a debilitating illness – including mental health – may find it physically challenging to leave their homes. This means that crucial follow-up appointments with their doctors can get missed, increasing the risk of post-treatment hospitalization. Especially for those who have undergone surgical procedures.
- Reducing Costs – Urgent care is often the only alternative option to a less expensive visit with a doctor when a situation arises. Affordable doctor visits are often unavailable for same-day treatment and a lot of patients cannot afford urgent care – so treatment is put off or dismissed which can lead to more troubling health issues. Telehealth allows more flexibility for providers to see their patients on an urgent basis – which empowers more patients to seek the care that they need right away!
Telehealth takes away so many barriers that prevent many seniors and vulnerable people from seeking healthcare that can drastically improve their overall health and quality of life.
Seniors may be quick to dismiss the idea of telehealth because the technological setup may feel intimidating. But with the help of family members, friends or caregivers, logging in to a telehealth appointment will quickly feel normal and easy – even preferable to the inconveniences that accompany in-office visits.