It took a health pandemic for people to appreciate the value of being healthy rather than just being “not sick” or being able to manage symptoms. In today’s world, underlying chronic diseases place all of us at a significantly higher risk for complications and death from COVID-19.
As a result, the medical community is beginning to see a growing interest among the general population in the detection, prevention, and treatment of chronic diseases. Among these are diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), autoimmunity and other immune system disorders, kidney disease, and metabolic disorders.
At the same time, advances in technology have made prevention, diagnosis, and management of these and other chronic diseases easier than ever, while reducing the risk of exposure to infectious diseases that may be inherent in physical office visits. Increasingly, patients are scheduling virtual doctor visits via Zoom and other video-conferencing apps, and I am loving these telemedicine consultations.
In this post, I highlight the benefits of telemedicine and provide some tips to optimize these virtual doctor consultations.
Telemedicine Benefits for Doctors and Patients
Today, most doctor appointments last 7-15 minutes at the most. Patients typically spend far more time driving to the office and sitting in the waiting room than they do with their doctors. A 15-minute visit (again, max) may be enough time to check in with your doctor, but it is woefully inadequate for dealing with any complex issues — especially chronic conditions. That is, unless you’re looking for a quick-fix prescription, which isn’t a solution at all. It’s usually just a band-aid.
For doctors and patients committed to tracking down the root cause of health conditions, a consultative approach that provides you with ample time to speak — and be heard — is essential. Telemedicine, it turns out, may provide the additional time and focus to optimize the effectiveness of doctor visits.
As my experience with telemedicine has grown, I have become increasingly aware of its benefits, which include the following: Continue reading…