Virtual Doctor Appointments: Challenges and Benefits

By Hagal Adam
On June 24, 2018 At 7:04 am

Category : Health

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The healthcare system is constantly looking for ways to provide better healthcare for the general population. The cost of caring for a patient continues to rise, but there is still an opportunity to explore methods involving technology, despite the expense it entails. One such technology is the use of virtual appointments. Doctors can either use existing tools such as video chat services or come up with a customised application that patients can download on their smartphones.

An online doctor appointment replaces the need to personally visit a doctor’s office and wait hours for a five-minute consultation. There are also additional tools such as virtual symptom checkers to assist with diagnosis of common illnesses. There are many sectors of society that can greatly benefit from this technology. For example, the ageing population can get the care they need without having to go through the trouble of travelling.

Eliminating travel is also helpful for people who live far from the nearest primary care clinic. It is also an excellent tool to provide counselling, and psychological care to patients. There are many other reasons why virtual consultations are becoming more acceptable in today’s society.

Convenience for both patient and health practitioner

The benefits of virtual appointments also extend to the medical practitioner. Doctors can reach and treat more patients over a short period of time. Patients that are otherwise hesitant about an in-person consultation may feel more comfortable with video chat. Some patients suffering from lifestyle-related conditions such as baldness, and erectile dysfunction can consult a doctor from the privacy of their own homes.

There are also some instances when patients are better able to communicate when they are not speaking to a doctor in person. It helps with improving the health of individuals suffering from chronic conditions but are hesitant to reach out to a medical professional.

Fast issuance and pick-up of prescriptions

With a virtual doctor application, patients have access to NHS approved prescriptions. The assisting physician can send the prescription directly to a pharmacy and the patient simply needs to pick it up. This is another step in making sure that prescription medication is not abused or misused by any patient.

Services are available any time of the day

Primary care services are available every day, seven days a week with the help of a virtual tool. You can book your appointment within seconds and get seen by your doctor through video call as quickly as possible. Even at odd hours of the day, you can consult a doctor at your convenience.

Many people who have experienced the convenience of this technology appreciate how much it has improved the healthcare system. There are those who are still concerned about the security of patient information when shared through an online portal. While this technology is fast becoming widely adopted across the country, there are still opportunities for improvement. Despite the challenges, it has revolutionised how medical practitioners will provide healthcare services in the near future.

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