Telehealth is a type of health service that uses technologies like video calling to consult a doctor or a health care provider from home rather than at a medical facility. We often use two terms, telehealth, and telemedicine interchangeably. But these two terms refer to different types of online and in-home healthcare services. Telemedicine refers particularly to online doctor consultation, while telehealth is a broader term that also includes health-education services like diabetes management, health-related training, or nutrition courses.
The significance of telehealth has increased manifold with the recent pandemic. It is helpful in particular for older people or patients who are homebound, have limited mobility, or live in rural areas. They can see their doctors from their homes on their phones, tablets, or any other electronic device. It can also help family caregivers resolve their queries with doctors through an online portal without an appointment or travel to a far-off facility. In 2019, only 11% of consumers used telehealth. But now, as a result of a shift in consumer needs due to the pandemic, 76% report interest in using telehealth, according to a study from McKinsey & Company. Thus, telemedicine is often easier, faster, and less expensive than going to a clinic.
Tips to prepare for your telehealth appointments
Adapting to the technological revolution can be difficult for the older generation. They may not be familiar with the technology required for the transition from in-person to online appointments. Here are a few tips that will help you prepare for the next telehealth appointment.
- Add the online appointments to your calendar so that you don’t forget.
- Use a good camera – Make sure that your device has a good camera with better resolution so that your doctor gets a clear picture to understand and address your concerns effectively.
- Practice video calling in advance with someone you are comfortable with to make sure you know how to use the camera. Test your device for sound and video. Most devices have built-in microphones and speakers, but you may have to turn them on before use. Using headphones may result in better sound quality.
- Have a high-speed internet connection. If you are using Wi-Fi, try getting as close to the router as possible. If you are not using Wi-Fi, getting a wired connection to your router or an Ethernet cable will ensure a better network.
- Make sure to charge your device enough to last through your appointment.
- Find a quiet place with good lighting. It will help your doctor have a clearer vision of you with no distractions
- Position yourself and your device correctly so that the video call is productive. Place your device on a sturdy surface so you can move around if you need to. Try positioning your device, so your head and shoulders are in the camera frame.
- Prepare a list of concerns that you need your doctor to address. It will help you to cover everything and the interaction be easier and more effective
- Check whether your insurance covers it: Many insurance providers now cover telehealth services. However, the coverage varies widely from state to state. There are differences in the definition of telehealth and its costs. It is necessary to check with insurance providers for the latest information about telehealth services coverage. Insurance policies change and are constantly updating. Some insurance services cover telehealth services like doctor’s appointments, e-visits, virtual check-ins, medical supplies, outpatient care, at-home healthcare services. The owed amount may depend on several factors, including other insurance covers, doctor charges, the type of facility you get the service. Make sure to confirm the coverage with your insurance and healthcare provider. Telehealth services are effective, convenient, safe, and save time. It has revolutionized the healthcare domain to quite an extent, providing greater flexibility to the patients to manage their health appointments at convenience, without having to travel or wait in long lines. In the contemporary environment, having time to spare becomes a huge issue for people, as they try to manage their discerning professional and personal obligations every day. With the global Covid-19 pandemic situation, telehealth comes as a great boon as the importance of social distancing during the pandemic is paramount. However, it can be difficult to maintain social distance in crowded public spaces like hospitals and doctor’s clinics or labs. The elderly are one of the most vulnerable sections during this pandemic, and they should avoid the risk of visiting hospitals or labs if it is not an emergency. Telehealth services offer virtual and home healthcare services at convenience with safety. It reduces the risk of transmission and ensures the continuation of health services. Telehealth services are now a vital part of the new normal.
myOnsite Healthcare provides a one-stop solution for all mobile phlebotomy needs for individual patients to large multi locations of hundreds. We are backed by a proprietary cloud-based IT platform that enables a paperless workflow from scheduling to test results with real-time tracking.
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