Banty Co-Founder and Medical Director, Dr. Richard Tytus, provided the subject matter and direction for this article. The author would like to thank Adam Grant for his editorial assistance in writing the article. Dr. Richard Tytus takes responsibility for the content of the article.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic began, healthcare professionals could still communicate with patients via phone calls, or video calls, if they so desired. However, without a real, defined reason to do so, a big chunk of the medical community opted to continually just see patients at their clinics.
Then, once the pandemic took hold and forced various healthy and safety protocols to be initiated (namely, physical distancing), physicians and patients alike faced many hurdles as it related to being able to see one another.
As a result, more and more healthcare professionals had to adjust their way of conducting appointments. Some went immediately to the phone for check-ins with patients, while others turned to video. Fortunately, this did help many citizens receive medical attention at a time when getting into a clinic was challenging, if not impossible.
Now that the world begins to open up again, online doctor’s appointments are still happening and proving to be a real viable solution for patient care. Of course, some physicians are still hesitant about using a video conferencing solution to meet with patients, but the hope is that one day their perspective might change.
Regardless of whether a physician is for, or against, offering online doctor visits, here’s why appreciation for virtual care will continue to grow over time:
Virtual Medicine is Effective During a Public Health Crisis
One of the many things we have learned during the COVID-19 global pandemic is that those in the healthcare community need to be able to quickly pivot when new roadblocks emerge.
Sadly, when COVID-19 struck, not all of those in the medical field initially had the means and/or tools to treat patients. As clinics temporarily shuttered, or less appointments could be scheduled in-person on a given day, the scramble was on for patients to get the care they needed. Fortunately, once online doctor’s appointments became more recognized and accepted, treatment was able to improve once again.
Unfortunately, we have to consider the possibility of future public health crises occurring. However, from a technological and patient care perspective, those in the healthcare community should be better prepared if future, heavy-duty health and safety measures are put into place.
Patients are Put at Ease
As doctors know, it is not easy for every patient to get to the clinic for their appointment. This could be due to health limitations, a lack of reliable transit, or a litany of other reasons that make getting to an in-person clinic all too challenging.
If a doctor can regularly offer live online video chats with these patients, they will be able to enter these appointments with ease. When patients who have trouble physically getting to an appointment, they generally arrive tired, upset, or in some level of physical and/or mental distress.
By providing a reliable virtual medicine solution (like a video call appointment), patients will be able to log in from the comfort of their own home and not face any unnecessary strain.
Virtual Medicine Technology Will Continue to Improve
If there is one thing everyone knows about technology, it’s that it is always evolving and improving. Over the years, remote patient care has taken great strides thanks being able to conduct video call appointments.
However, in the years to come we should all anticipate new features and applications to emerge. These will make online doctor visits much easier to manage and less intimidating for patients to access. What’s more, those behind the technology will continually keep an eye out for what new elements are needed for those practicing telemedicine, and create enhancements to fulfill such desires.