If you haven't tried telehealth yet, you're missing out! Telehealth provides a convenient way to access medical care remotely using technology. With telehealth services, you can speak to doctors, specialists, and therapists without leaving your home.
In this article, we'll explore the many advantages telehealth offers patients of all ages. Keep reading to learn how telehealth can save you time and money while still providing high-quality care.
What Exactly is Telehealth?
Telehealth allows patients to connect with healthcare providers using digital communication tools like:
- Video conferencing
- Phone calls
- Text messaging
Rather than going into a doctor's office, patients use their smartphone, tablet, or computer for appointments. This allows them to get medical care from anywhere with an internet connection.
Telehealth is sometimes called "telemedicine" when referring to medical professionals, specifically to remote doctor's appointments and consults. But telehealth also encompasses broader health services like:
- Health education
- Prescription management
- Remote monitoring
- Mental health counseling
So in short, telehealth uses technology to further patient engagement and make accessing healthcare more convenient than ever!
Key Benefits of Telehealth Services
There are many reasons to give telehealth a try. Here are some of the top benefits:
Convenience with Your Primary Care Provider
One of the biggest advantages of telehealth is the sheer convenience. By "visiting" your doctor or nurse practitioner online, you avoid travel time to and from appointments. No taking time off work or school or finding childcare. Just log on from home!
Telehealth opens up access to health care providers, for those who:
- Live in rural or remote areas
- Don't drive or lack transportation
- Have disabilities or mobility issues
- Have busy schedules or family demands
- Want to reduce potential virus exposures
Virtual visits allow more people to get the health care they need.
Telehealth appointments tend to cost less than in-office visits. You'll save money on gas and parking too. Many insurance plans now cover telehealth visits at little or no extra cost.
With telehealth, you can often see a doctor faster than waiting for an in-person appointment. This allows for more timely treatment and patient outcomes.
Doctors can send prescriptions right to your pharmacy following telehealth consultations. No extra trip needed!
Follow-Up Is Easier
Providers can check-in remotely online patient portals to monitor conditions instead of requiring return office visits. Telehealth makes follow-up care seamless.
Remote Patient Monitoring
One way telehealth improves ongoing care is through remote patient monitoring. This allows medical providers to track health data from patients in real-time using digital devices.
Patients can use connected devices at home to measure vital signs like blood pressure, oxygen levels, weight, and more. The readings automatically sync to their healthcare team to be reviewed.
Monitoring patient health data remotely enables providers to:
- Spot warning signs early
- Change medications or care plans proactively
- Ensure patients recover properly after procedures
- Reduce the need for frequent in-person visits
Telehealth technology makes this level of care continuity and coordination possible. Remote monitoring delivers health benefits to patients with chronic conditions, seniors, and post-operative recovery patients.
By leveraging connected devices, telehealth allows doctors to detect emerging health problems early and personalize care without requiring office visits.
Privacy and Comfort
You get to talk to health providers from the privacy and comfort of your own home instead of going to a sterile, medical center or office.
With all these perks, it's easy to see why patients love the convenience of telehealth!
Telehealth Provides Care for All Ages
Sometimes people think that telehealth technology is designed just for busy adults. But virtual medical services can benefit family members of all ages!
Many pediatric services can be provided online, including:
- Cold and flu visits
- Prescription refills
- Mental health counseling
- Specialist consults
- Health screenings
Telehealth makes caring for sick kids easier for parents too.
Teens who may feel hesitant to share health concerns in person often open up more with telehealth. Virtual mental health services help teens get counseling confidentiality .
Adult care via telehealth includes:
- Diagnosing new symptoms
- Ongoing care for chronic conditions
- Therapist and psychiatry appointments
- Nutrition consults
- Dermatology services
It's especially helpful for busy working adults juggling hectic schedules.
Many seniors appreciate being able to access medical care from home. Telehealth helps them consult doctors without rides or assistance getting to appointments. And senior care services like home health can be coordinated remotely as well.
No matter your age, telehealth has benefits to offer!
How to Get Started with Telehealth
Ready to start reaping the rewards of convenient virtual care? Here are some tips to get started:
- Ask your healthcare providers if they offer telehealth services. Many now provide remote appointments.
- Search for telehealth provider networks that allow you to see doctors online 24/7 if your own provider doesn't offer virtual visits.
- Check with your health insurance plan to see what telehealth services are covered. Most plans now cover remote visits.
- Make sure you have the necessary equipment, like a computer with a webcam or a smartphone, before your telehealth visit.
- Find a comfortable, quiet, and private space in your home to take the virtual call from your healthcare provider.
- Test your internet connection and digital tools prior to your appointment time.
That's all it takes to be ready for a telehealth session! Consider it for your next doctor's visit to enjoy the convenience and savings.
Overcoming Barriers to Telehealth Access
While telehealth offers many advantages, some groups still face barriers to accessing virtual care services. One major obstacle for many Americans is the lack of broadband internet access.
Without sufficient internet connectivity in rural areas, patients can't take part in the convenience of video visits and remote care management. This disproportionately impacts rural communities, low-income families, seniors, and other vulnerable populations.
Fortunately, there are federal programs available to help more Americans get affordable internet service.
Lifeline & Affordable Connectivity Program
The Lifeline program and Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provide discounted phone and internet service to eligible households.
If your income falls below a certain level or you receive certain government benefits, you can qualify for a free smartphone and low-cost wireless plans through Lifeline and ACP service providers like EASY Wireless. This makes virtual doctor visits and telehealth apps accessible.
With EASY Wireless, customers approved for these programs receive:
- Free Talk, Text, and Data
- No contracts or hidden fees
- Free smartphone*
*In qualifying areas
Applying is fast and easy - check your eligibility by entering your zip code and email below:
Start Saving Today!
Having reliable home internet access opens up the door for you and your family to benefit from telehealth and other health care providers. Don't let connectivity issues stop you from accessing convenient virtual visits!
Telehealth Improves Access to Quality Health Care Services
Telehealth has transformed how healthcare is delivered, making it more accessible, affordable, and convenient for millions of Americans. Take advantage of the many benefits and give telehealth a try for your medical needs!
As technology continues advancing, virtual care options will likely only become more popular going forward. Get started today and discover how telehealth can move patient care and save you time and money without sacrificing personalized medical care.