You’ve probably heard the term “telemedicine,” but you may not be familiar with what it means. Put simply, telemedicine connects consumers with board certified doctors electronically, for health care in real time.1 Instead of traveling to see your doctor, you’re instantly connected using your computer, tablet, or smartphone for a video visit.
"Many people think that doctors have to do a physical examination in every situation to find out what's wrong."
Are you skeptical that telemedicine can provide the same level of care and service as an in-office doctor’s visit? You may worry that your personal health information isn’t safe, or that your health insurance won’t cover the visit. But, many of these barriers to trying the service are myths rather than truths. Many people think that doctors have to do a physical examination in every situation to find out what’s wrong. You may worry that your personal health information isn’t safe, or that your health insurance won’t cover the visit. But, many of these barriers to trying the service are myths rather than truths.
Concerned about quality? In many ways, a telemedicine video conference with a physician provides the same level of service you’d get with a standard office visit. Safety a barrier? By using encryption technology, telemedicine providers keep your personal health information protected. Many health insurance plans are increasingly expanding their coverage to include telemedicine visits as an option — including covering the service in full for specific circumstances.
Since telemedicine helps save time by connecting you directly to a doctor from your electronic device, you might find that this service simply fits your lifestyle better. From live video conferencing to remote monitoring, there are many ways to make telemedicine work for you. Watch this video for some ways to use telemedicine you may not have thought of, and read on below for even more.2-5
30 Ways You Can Use Telemedicine
- Remotely follow-up with your provider after an initial visit.
- Check-in with your doctor to manage a chronic illness, like hypertension.
- Review and discuss multiple medications all at once with your doctor.
- Seek birth control counseling to prepare the best plan.
- Talk with your doctor about growth milestones for your children.
- Get immediate treatment and advice for minor conditions like sinus infections.
- Get support to stop smoking.
- Ask your provider to change the dosage of certain medications.
- Get in touch with your pediatrician after-hours when your child is sick.
- Find support and advice to maintain or lose weight.
- Get support for recovery from addiction.
- Learn more about handling workplace issues so you can stay productive.
- Schedule appointments with your health care team.
- Speak with psychiatrists or other mental health professionals from the privacy of your home.
- Send your dermatologist pictures of rashes, moles, or other skin problems.
- Get advice for your upset stomach while you’re on vacation.
- Learn stress management techniques you can use anywhere.
- Meet with a family counselor for marriage or family counseling.
- Consult with a lactation specialist after giving birth.
- Check-in with your surgeon after having an operation.
- Get screened for common mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression.
- Refill your EpiPen® prescription.
- Receive anger management counseling and other forms of behavioral therapy.
- Ask your doctor which generic medications are safe for you to use.
- Create an immunization plan for your children.
- Discuss hormone replacement therapy with your doctor.
- Learn more about allergy testing and make an appointment.
- Get screened for high cholesterol.
- Talk with a therapist if you’ve experienced a miscarriage.
- Create a plan for dealing with panic attacks.
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care makes getting the health care you need easy with our Doctor on Demand program. Before using any virtual doctor’s visit service, be sure to check your insurance plan’s Summary of Benefits to see what telemedicine services it covers. Learn more about Doctor on Demand.
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Telemedicine. https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/benefits/telemed/index.html
- Becker’s Health IT & CIO Report. 10 top uses for telemedicine, according to physicians. https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/healthcare-information-technology/10-top-uses-for-telemedicine-according-to-physicians.html
- Mayo Clinic. Telehealth: Technology meets health care. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/telehealth/art-20044878
- Solv. Telemedicine in 2019: What it is, who needs it, and why is it important. https://www.solvhealth.com/blog/telemedice-guide-what-is-telehealth
- Huron. Leveraging telehealth for a more consumer-centric healthcare experience. https://www.huronconsultinggroup.com/resources/healthcare/telehealth-consumer-centric-healthcare-experience