How telemedicine works

  • when should people use it, relating it back to the flaws in traditional practice
  • when should people use telemedicine instead of traditional consultations depending on severity of illness, or type

Telemedicine, in simple terms, makes use of technology to help patients consult medical experts in a timely manner. By bridging medicine and technology (such as telephone, video-chatting, etc.), telemedicine platforms – such as MediCall, can become a great alternative to traditional medical and healthcare practices.

Medical practice and systems have evolved significantly over the years. Across the globe, governments, healthcare providers, insurers and patients are increasingly adopting to telemedicine platforms over regular traditional face-to-face medical consultation. In many cases, the need for a physical consultation is questioned and often deemed unnecessary or avoidable.

Imagine an instance where you have a simple illness like a common cold / flu and you need a prescription to the appropriate medicine. If you were forced to visit the hospital / clinic, wait for hours just to see the doctor for a few minutes and eventually get the prescription (which you can still get via telemedicine platforms – like MediCall), is it not an utter waste of your time, money and energy? More so, if you are unwell – having to wait for hours to see the doctor can be agonising.

Guidelines on medical consultation practices are also being upgraded everyday and many doctors are aware of when they can avoid a physical consultation. Yet, in many cases, physical consultations are preferred over telemedicine consultations. Reasons for this vary – doctors themselves being old-school & prefer to see their patients face-to-face, patients not being aware of advantages of telemedicine platforms like MediCall, additional tests or diagnostics being required, etc.

The problem with the traditional medical consultation practices is that in many cases, patients’ pain, suffering & agony is increased by just having to wait to meet the doctor in the clinic or hospital. Physical consultations can also be more expensive than consultations over telemedicine platforms, but this is seldom known to patients and healthcare providers. There are also cases where unnecessary diagnostics (such as X-ray, scanning) or lab tests are prescribed by doctors to patients in traditional medical practices – either to rule out or confirm a diagnosis or even to generate additional revenue for the labs.

In traditional practice, a patient usually ends up buying the prescribed medicines at the hospital’s pharmacy or the pharmacy attached to the clinic, at higher prices – this is usually because the doctor/hospital/clinic factor in their commissions and administrative or overhead charges of running the pharmacy get added. However, by using telemedicine platforms (such as MediCall), patients have the freedom to buy their medicines from any pharmacy of their choice – or better still, buy online from pharmacies that offer you discounted prices (because of their tie-ups with MediCall). This is a huge win for the patients, enabling them quality & affordable medical consultation, along with their prescription needs being met – all at their fingertips!

When is it better to use telemedicine platforms, such as MediCall over regular, face-to-face consultation:

  • COVID-19 assessment: Many providers are offering almost ‘no-cost’ consultations if you think you might need to be tested for COVID-19. It is always a better idea to make use of telemedicine over physical consultation – you avoid the risk of contaminating others in a clinic (or yourself if you are COVID negative, but others in the clinic could be COVID positive)
  • General consultation: Talk to a primary care provider about any of your health concerns starting at HKD 200 through MediCall. Avoid the long and strenuous waiting time at the clinics or hospitals
  • Anxiety: In the current times, anxiety & depression are some of the most commonly faced health problems across the globe. If you are suffering from anxiety or depression or need psychological/psychiatric help, but would like to avoid further stigma visiting a mental health professional, you can use telemedicine platform like MediCall for consulting in a safe environment, such as the comfort of your home.
  • Birth control: Talk to a physician or OGBYN and seek specific answers to your questions on birth control, with prescriptions.
  • Erectile dysfunction: Telemedicine platforms, like MediCall, can help you in seeking professional medical help and consultation in such cases, where physical consultation or face-to-face interaction with a medical practitioner is not required.
  • Routine follow-up: In chronic cases like diabetes, hypertension, etc. where just refilling prescription or only follow-up is adequate, telemedicine platforms – like MediCall, will be an advantage over traditional consultation. For senior citizens especially, MediCall can offer the option of consulting a medical practitioner from the comfort of their own homes.
  • Simple illnesses: when you are bogged down by simple illnesses like a seasonal flu, cough, fever, or even an injury during doing household chores or sports/exercises – you could always opt for telemedicine platform offered by MediCall, to seek quick online consultation by a medical professional instead of waiting for hours in a clinic or hospital.

Some of the areas of medical practice, where a doctor (such as a general physician) can use telemedicine effectively are:

  • Allergy management, wheezing and asthma
  • Arthritis and Joint pain
  • Cough, Cold, sore throat, common flu and sinusitis / sinus inflammation
  • Throat pain and respiratory infections – bronchitis & Pharyngitis
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea
  • Rashes, insect bites and skin infections
  • Eye infections – conjunctivitis
  • Urine and bladder infections
  • Injuries suffered while playing sports or household chores, sprains & strains

Sometimes, telemedicine helps specialists too – in specific cases that may not require direct or physical consultation. Some common examples are:

  • Routine diabetes management, where there may not be many complications
  • Pre- or Post-surgery care and guidance by a surgeon
  • Clarification or consultation on lab results and further tests or actions in cases of liver or kidney infections
  • Pediatric consultation for routine follow-up or minor issues or clarification on vaccination schedule
  • Counselling and medical advice by a psychiatrist
  • It can even be used for oncology or cancer consultations
  • A gynaecologist or OBGYN consultation for help in period pains, PMS-related queries, birth control, general consultation, etc.

Don’t forget – an online consultation with a medical practitioner on MediCall could cost you less than a traditional face-to-face consultation with the same (or similar) practitioner!

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