Without a doubt, the novel coronavirus has completely changed the way that we manage our day-to-day lives. From how we socialize to the way we shop for groceries, the recent pandemic has had lasting effects on our society. While many industries have struggled to thrive beneath the quarantine guidelines, others have managed to flourish. One such industry is the telemedicine sector.
In the past, many of us would not have thought twice about popping into our local urgent care facility for a quick wellness checkup when we had the sniffles or a minor bump or scrape. These days, though, many of us are understandably wary about being in such an environment — especially with the threat of somehow contracting COVID-19 looming over our heads.
The American Medical Association has reported that telemedicine has experienced a surge in recent months, with up to 90% of healthcare providers now offering remote care. As a patient, however, how will these new means of receiving treatment affect you?
Primary Care and Routine Check-Ups
For patients who are already in good health, they may not have to think twice about the needs of other patients who might need regular monitoring from their providers. Fortunately for those patients, telemedicine has stepped up to address their concerns.
Whether you need just a regular check-up to get your medication prescription refilled or you’re trying to manage a chronic condition (such as diabetes or hypertension), the doctor is in. Many providers are now offering general wellness checks to these patients, allowing them to receive the necessary care they require to stay healthy.
Making Remote Recovery Possible
Fevers, Coughs, and Chills
Of course, many patients are anxious about loitering in a crowded waiting room to see their doctor if they have unexpectedly come down with a cold or the flu. Not only do they not want to inadvertently expose others to their germs, but they also don’t want to risk getting sick with whatever the other patients might be experiencing.
For these patients, getting a prescription for antibiotics or pain relief, their doctor is now only a click away. Instead of sitting in a packed waiting room, breathing in the bacteria of fellow patients, all you need to do is download one of the many telemedicine apps and schedule a remote appointment with your doctor. In fact, many of these apps are included with your medical insurance, taking the headache out of treating your fever.
Skin Concerns and Dermatology
Sadly, not all of us were blessed with naturally glowing, blemish-free skin. Plus, acne isn’t just an affliction that affects teenagers, either. While it’s true that most patients who seek care for acne spots are generally adolescents, up to 15% of adult women (and many men, as well) will struggle with adult acne.
Even worse, the masks that we have been wearing to help prevent the spread of coronavirus have only proven to exacerbate acne breakouts in many of us. This has led to what has been colloquially dubbed as “mascne.” If you’ve been embarrassed to show your face to the public due to acne or other skin concerns, dermatologists now offer remote care to help you feel confident once more beneath your mask.
It’s no secret that these trying times have been difficult for nearly all of us. Mental health problems are on the rise, and tragically, many people are suffering from their issues in private. Without adequate resources to help them manage these concerns, many people have turned to drugs and alcohol to dull their pain.
Furthermore, patients who already struggle with substance abuse may not be getting the care they require to help them recover. For these patients, telemedicine may be the helping hand they need to help them overcome these obstacles. Outpatient treatment facilities like SBtreatment.com have stepped up in response to this rising demand for mental health treatment, offering compassionate, remote care for these individuals.
What Can’t Telemedicine Treat?
Of course, there are a few things that your telemedicine doctor can’t address through a remote appointment. This can include things like broken bones or severe allergic reactions and anaphylaxis. It’s also not a replacement for emergency care, such as treating a heart attack or stroke.
Telehealth providers also cannot prescribe controlled substances during a remote appointment, either. This means that if you require a refill on a prescription such as Adderall or Vicodin, then you may need to see your doctor in person. However, for many other treatable conditions, telemedicine can be exactly what we require to stay happy and healthy during these uncertain times — and ideally in the future, as well!