Telemedicine and the Online Medical Consultation app were already a trend for a few years, but the pandemic has placed it under the spotlight. In the harshest months of confinement, it became an alternative option for remotely treating certain conditions.
There will always be consultations that require a face-to-face visit to make a specific diagnosis, but the medical app can solve some issues effectively through remote assistance.
What is Telemedicine?
According to the WHO, telemedicine is “the delivery of health services. Specifically in which distance is a critical factor, health professionals who use information and communication technologies to obtain valid information for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases and injuries”.
It would be a first approximation. Although the organization also highlights that these services serve other essential utilities that medicine also has: “Research and evaluation, continuous training of healthcare providers, all in the interest of advancing the health of individuals and communities.”
Differences between Telemedicine and Telehealth
Suppose we wanted to simplify the academicism of this WHO definition as much as possible. In that case, we can say that telemedicine is the set of health services provided at a distance. The important thing here is the absence of a face-to-face visit to the hospital or doctor.
Despite everything, the concept is not precisely synonymous with telehealth. If we turn to the WHO again, it tells us that telehealth covers a broader spectrum. It encompasses telemedicine itself. It also includes other services related to “the application of remote technologies” to educate the population and reach potential patients.
At the same time, health care support services also fall within this category, such as recommendations on personal health or monitoring some biomedical parameters.
How Online Health Services Work
The evolution of distance medicine services has been enormous in recent years. However, only a decade ago, the digitization of healthcare was still scarce and fragmented. But above all, the change has been on the side of potential patients.
Now practically everyone has a smartphone connected 24 hours a day, with the ability to run demanding applications and make video calls. Something that did not happen ten years before.
Hence, telemedicine services are the central part of applications that centralize remote medical assistance.
From an application, you can make an appointment with a doctor online, obtain a provisional diagnosis based on the data you provide to the app, and access additional information.
What are the Benefits of Online Medical Consultation?
As we have mentioned before, there will always be medical problems that require a visit and diagnostic tests in health centers. But telemedicine, due to its agility and ease of access, provides some benefits to consider:
avoid having to leave in the morning or afternoon to visit the medical center, as well as spending time in crowded waiting rooms. The user can contact a doctor and then immediately resume their working hours or tasks.
. There is no Need to Travel:
if for any reason, be it because it is winter and cold or for any other reasons – especially at a pandemic – the patient is concerned about going outside, they do not have to. The convenience of remote service is more advantageous even when the person has difficulty leaving their home. But also if you have children in your charge or older and you cannot leave them alone.
. 24-Hour Assistance:
telemedicine services cover all times of the day. So you can contact through the application and make an appointment with an online primary care doctor at any time.
. Less Waiting Time:
generally, waiting times are shorter. Telemedicine services are agile to adjust to personal demands.