One of the hottest new trends in medicine lately has been the rise of telemedicine. This industry uses technologies like video chat and voice calls to treat patient’s needs without them ever having to visit a clinic or hospital. This form of medicine does have some unique advantages, but it also has some potential downsides.
Pro: Costs Are Lower for Patients and Providers
Telemedicine tends to be far cheaper than a standard consultation with a doctor. It does not require doctors to spend so much money on waiting rooms and other unnecessary aspects of their clinic, and patients do not have to spend money traveling to the doctor. In fact, telemedicine programs have been found to reduce costs by 11 percent.
Con: Doing Physical Assessments Is More Difficult
One of the most significant downsides of telemedicine is that it does not allow doctors to see and examine the patient in person. This can make it hard for them to diagnose conditions that may involve feeling the patient or paying attention to non-verbal cues.
Pro: Telemedicine Provides More Convenience
Telemedicine cuts out all the time patients have to spend traveling, waiting, and making appointments before they speak to a doctor. This makes it easy for them to use telemedicine to ask quick questions from a medical professional or get a prescription from a basic problem like a UTI.
Con: Telemedicine Relies on Access to Technology
A potential problem with telemedicine is that it is so reliant on technology. This can lead to problems when there are power outages or electronic glitches that keep patients from being able to consult with their doctor. It can also keep people without new technology or people unable to learn new technology from being able to access medical help.
Pro: More Flexibility With Scheduling and Provider Choice
Unlike most healthcare offices, telemedicine is usually available 24/7. This means that patients who work night shifts or regular office hours can actually see a healthcare provider without having to take time off work. It also lets people have access to more than just the doctors in their hometown. This makes it easier to find specialists who can address patients’ unique problems.