Virtual medical consultations are consultations with a doctor or other medical professional that provide an alternative to in-person services for all aspects of the healthcare industry.
A virtual medical consultation enables healthcare providers to provide services through video conferencing. Patients speak to their doctors using their devices of choice, such as a smartphone, tablet, or PC.
Background to virtual medical visits
With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of real-time video conferencing has become common in everyday life. Now, it is being applied as a digital option for delivering new and existing healthcare services.
Virtual medical appointments can differ depending on the doctor and their specialty. But patients get the same quality of care they always do.
Virtual medical visits allow patients to receive medical care without the need to visit a doctor’s office in person. This way, patients connect with a doctor through a live video conference.
What are online medical consultations?
Virtual medical consultations are an extremely effective option for non-emergency medical care. Virtual consultations can be used across almost all fields in medicine, from primary medical care to specialized therapy and counseling and post-surgical management.
Virtual medical appointments for primary care
A majority of primary health care issues do not require a physical visit to a doctor’s office. For example, most colds are viral, and there is no reason for a patient to visit a doctor’s office and potentially infect others.
Incorporating HD two-way video in a virtual medical care platform enables doctors to see dermatological problems in such detail that they can identify the problems immediately and prescribe appropriate treatment virtually.
For post-surgical follow-up, the use of virtual care saves time, promotes healing at the comfort of your home, and minimizes the potential risk of an injury. In addition, patients aren’t interrupted from their rest or inconvenienced by tricky transportation arrangements to get to the doctor’s office.
Virtual medical consultation for mental health therapy
Virtual therapy sessions are a game-changer in the management of mental health issues. Virtual therapy and counseling sessions offer the same quality of care as a face-to-face visit in the comfort of a patient’s own home.
Online therapy sessions allow patients to consult with a therapist on short notice in non-emergency situations where they may have otherwise used walk-in hours.
How does a patient prepare for a virtual medical appointment?
It’s essential for a patient to prepare for a virtual appointment beforehand to make the most of the session. The following tips will help patients navigate a typical virtual medical appointment with a doctor, dentist, therapist, or other healthcare providers.
Write down all your symptoms
If you are unwell, you will need to provide as much information as possible to your doctor or the health care provider during your virtual medical appointment. Be sure to make a list of all your symptoms and how long each one has been present.
State any pre-existing condition that you may have
During your online medical appointment, the doctor will need your medical history. Write down any pre-existing conditions you may have and how long they have been present. Likewise, if you are taking any medication for these conditions, list them as well, along with any additional drugs or supplements you may be taking.
Place any medical devices you may have close at hand
You may have a thermometer, blood pressure monitor, glucometer to measure blood sugar levels, heart monitor, or even a scale. Have these close by during your virtual medical appointment. Your doctor may ask for a current reading during the session, and you don’t want to waste the doctor’s time looking for these devices during the call.
Write down any prior questions that you may have
Before your virtual medical appointment, be sure to make a list of all the questions you may have for your doctor. It can be easy to forget your questions or get distracted during the call, so have them ready beforehand to address all your concerns.
Look for a quiet spot for your online appointment
I am sure you do not want your virtual medical appointment to be interrupted by a person, the kids, or your pet, so look for a quiet spot for your visit. You may want to turn off your entertainment devices to reduce distractions during the virtual appointment and make sure the session is not interrupted by any background noise.
While virtual medical appointments can be a great way to see a doctor or a therapist without leaving the comfort of your home or office, there are some cases where an in-person visit may be necessary. Therefore, do not be shocked if your doctor or the provider directs you to make an in-person follow-up appointment with your local doctor or, if urgent, go to the local emergency room.
About the Author: Jennifer Billings, MD, is the Medical Editor at Medicwell. She is an Integrated medical doctor who has been published on Medicwell Blog, Medium.com, and is a regular contributor at MedCity News, Physician Family, and Psychology Today.
Image Source: Medicwell.com
The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios.
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