What Are Telemedicine Services and Why Are They Important? | Over the last 18 months, the face of medical care changed. As stay-at-home orders flew left and right, people canceled surgeries and put off routine medical care. Despite all of that, people stuck at home still needed some level of access to medical care and advice.
With doctors and hospitals actively discouraging anyone who wasn’t having an emergency from coming in, what was the alternative? It turns out that the alternative was telemedicine services.
You might find yourself asking this: What are telemedicine services?
If so, keep reading for our guide to what they are and their benefits.
What Are Telemedicine Services?
Telemedicine services refer to medical services offered remotely.
That can mean something as simple as a phone call with a nurse practitioner about a rash. It can also mean virtual telemedicine, where you might conduct a psychiatric appointment through video streaming. It can even mean getting a prescription for migraine medication through a website.
The big takeaway is that provides another route for people to access medical care and advice without necessarily stepping into a clinic, hospital, or doctor’s office. This can improve efficiency and reduce costs for everyone involved.
Types of Telemedicine
There are several broad categories of telemedicine. The best known is probably live telemedicine. That is where you interact with a doctor in real time, by phone, video, or possibly even a chat program.
For example, someone with a heart condition might get a Tele-Cardiology appointment with their cardiologist.
Another type of telemedicine is remote monitoring. In these cases, doctors get data online from patients’ medical devices. That lets them monitor patients remotely and even intervene if they notice something troubling.
The other main type of telemedicine is primarily doctor-to-doctor information sharing. For example, your primary care physician can send your information to an orthopedic specialist before a consultation.
Benefits of Telemedicine
Telemedicine offers a number of benefits. One huge benefit is that it lets people who can’t normally access a doctor or clinic get medical advice.
Let’s say that someone doesn’t own a car and the nearest doctor is several miles away. Telemedicine provides them options.
Telemedicine also helps limit the spread of diseases. For example, you might not want to visit a doctor’s office during flu season or during a pandemic.
Depending on the type of appointment, telemedicine may even help with a diagnosis. Seeing your home environment can offer cues to your condition.
Telemedicine and You
Now you know the answer to the question of what are telemedicine services. You may still wonder how those services matter in your life.
Telemedicine isn’t the right tool for every medical problem. If you suffer a trauma like a severe cut or broken bone, you need in-person medical care. The same goes for a serious illness.
If you just need a medical second opinion or some monitoring for a stable condition, telemedicine is a great tool for the job.
Looking for more information about health, medicine, or wellness? Check out the articles in our Wellness section.