Online medical consultations can be very useful to interpret results, obtain second opinions or receive health care that does not require a physical examination.
There are still several weeks until your medical appointment, but you want to know the results of an analysis , or it happens that you need to check the dosage of your baby's medicine .
In these cases, and in many others that require immediacy and are not serious , consulting a doctor online can help you. Of course, you must be clear that online medical appointments never replace those made in person when a physical examination is necessary for your condition.
In this small guide, you can clear doubts and find out what services online doctor offer, how to make an inquiry or what their prices are.
Online Medical Consultations: How Do They Work?
The medical consultations online are gaining whole health systems in all countries, because they involve savings for the system and greater patient comfort. But how do these types of services work? In this post we wanted to take a brief tour of the back room.
Online Medical Consultations
In the US, more and more health insurance companies offer telemedicine services to help reduce costs.
The operation of this type of consultation is relatively simple given the technologies that we have today. It is like a Skype video call, we have the doctor in his office speaking in front of a computer with an integrated camera and at home we have the patient, in front of another computer with a cam or perhaps just a Smartphone or a Tablet.
Through telemedicine, patients can have easy virtual visits with a doctor via email, phone, video or other devices.
With an aging population and the predictable shortage of doctors, telemedicine and online health care could be the innovation that saves health care.
But are medical consultations just as reliable as traditional consultations? Studies have shown that virtual care can be effective in treating common problems like the flu, acne, or urinary tract infections.
Advances in eHealth include more things than online medical consultations , for example, there is also online medical history consultation . Undoubtedly, in the coming years we will see a true revolution in the way we view patient treatment.
What Services Do Online Doctors Offer?
An online consultation with a doctor is a comfortable and very useful service. Through a chat or a video call, it is possible to make consultations and solve doubts, since the doctor offers advisory services, interpretation of analytical results, second opinions or any other health care "that does not require a physical examination", as clarified Inma Zambade, digital strategy consultant specialized in the health sector.
But also an online consultation is a general medical advice service, which at no time is intended to replace face-to-face care by a professional.
his medical care, in general, includes specialties . Any health professional can have their digital consultation and be present on the Net to attend to their patients, and this ranges from family doctors and specialists to nursing, through psychologists, physical therapists or pharmacy professionals.
How Does An Online Medical Consultation Work?
If you want to consult a doctor through the Internet, you must access one of the websites dedicated to this purpose and contact a professional by video call or through a chat, which are the most widely used ways.
On the other side there will be a professional who will try to solve your doubts as quickly and efficiently as possible. They will even be able to prescribe the necessary medication for your ailment , since there are mechanisms to do so with a guarantee of safety, both for the professional and for the patient.
It would also be possible, technologically, to send ambulances, although this is not usual. In general, if the doctor consulted suspects a certain severity, he will communicate to the patient the convenience of going to the nearest emergency room as soon as possible.
How Do You Know That I Am In Good Hands?
When it comes to contacting an online doctor, you may find yourself lost, since there are many options: doctors who register in directories, doctors who belong to the medical team of some company and doctors who provide this service from their website.
How Do You Know If You're A Good Professional?
First of all, it should be kept in mind that top-level digital platforms and companies carry out an exhaustive control of the professional's credentials, who must be licensed with valid licenses and accredit experience and solvency.
In addition, the name of the doctor and his specialty are accompanied by his CV, career and workplace (hospital, clinic, private practice ...) and the opinions of previous patients.
On other occasions, this expert is sought and consulted by an ex profeso , after having had previous consultations with him and finding it easier and quicker to do another in this way.
Which Patients Use This Service?
Anyone can use an online consultation as long as they have an Internet connection, but those who use them the most include those who value immediacy and want quick attention to specific problems.
In general, these patients do not have symptoms that they can identify as severe or urgent, but they want a response from a healthcare professional as soon as possible. They are people who seek to rule out immediate visit to a doctor.
It is quite frequent, in relation to younger children, that their parents make inquiries about the dosage of the medication," says Aznar by way of example.
How Much Does It Cost And How To Pay?
Is it very expensive to use a virtual consultation? There are different options and, therefore, various prices. First, professionals can offer free services on digital platforms in a generic and informative way. It is not usual.
In general, the doctor consults online and charges for his personalized attention (as in a face-to-face consultation). Another alternative is that the professional belongs to an insurance company that provides this service to its clients. In both cases, the patient has to pay for the service.
Online consultations generally have the same price (or very similar) as face-to-face consultations. Of course, it depends on each professional.
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