The Daily Post Prompt – Drive. Telemedicine and Virtual Doctors, a green approach

Telemedicine is an innovative green approach that enables electronic communications between doctors and patients and cuts down on energy consumption. It efficiently replaces an in-office doctor visit by using phone, email and webcam, allowing to manage chronic conditions in a variety of outpatient settings and reduce hospital admissions. It can even be used at home efficiently eliminating the need to put up with traffic while driving to and from the doctor’s office. You can do this in your pajamas.

Want to cut down on your healthcare bills?   Use Telemedicine.

July 17. Telemedicine

It’s finally here and it’s on the rise. More health providers are turning to electronic communications instead of an in-office doctor visit. The patients can transmit their blood pressure, heart rate, other vital signs and I can assume, blood glucose, electronically. This allows to manage chronic conditions at home.

The doctors are also consulting with each other electronically.

Telemedicine is widely used by the Doctors Without Borders where questions about tough cases are relayed to its network of experts around the world and back via Internet.

This technique, used at the Mercy Virtual Health Center, the world’s first telehealth facility, a “hospital without beds”, has resulted in a 35% decrease in patients’ average length of stay as well as 30% fewer deaths for the past year at Mercy.

It is a godsend for the VA with their staff shortage and never ending wait lists.

I love the idea and will discuss with my doctor next time I see him. I can check my blood pressure and other vital signs at home; can even check my A1C at home and email the results or a photo of the screen likewise.

July 17. BP cuff

I think that I can skip the rest of the lab work at least once a year;  I personally don’t see a reason for running a full metabolic panel every six months that of course, comes with a co-payment and driving to and from the doctor’s office, let alone waiting in line.

This will hopefully keep my doctor from running any extra and in my opinion, unnecessary tests, like last time he ordered a Hepatitis C blood test that I found out about only when billed for it. It came back negative, of course, I am not at risk and beats me why he ordered it. But with telemedicine, say good bye to all the extra tests. I sincerely hope that this is what will happen.

Apparently it’s a not a one-size-fits-all and certain conditions will absolutely require a physical visit to the doctor’s office. Critics worry that telemedicine services can sacrifice quality for convenience. Consulting a random doctor whom patients will never meet somehow further fragments the healthcare system, they say. I personally wouldn’t mind consulting with a doctor who I will never meet, and fail to see a huge difference; but this is just me. Another concern is that a doctor accessible electronically can’t listen to your heart, culture your throat or feel your swollen glands, however there’s a way to deal with this.

The latter, as far as I am concerned, I can pretty much do myself & transmit electronically, with the exception of the things like throat culture. By the way, all the throat cultures I had ever done, always came back negative. I can check my heart rate at home whether by actual counting or electronically; I believe that there is a way to transmit actual heart sounds the same way. As far as swollen glands, I don’t think it makes a difference if a doctor actually feels them versus my own reporting. I can take a selfie and transmit that. As far as throat culture, I will probably use a wait-and-see approach.

One of my former doctors, a dermatologist who I was seeing for my plaque psoriasis, has never looked at my lesions. I mean NEVER. I am still puzzled how she charted but she never asked me to undress so she could actually view them. At one point she made me feel ashamed of my condition by refusing light treatment because of another condition that was secondary to psoriasis, yet she made me feel that somehow it was my fault.  She works in the Cleveland Clinic system.  Oh well.

After this experience I wouldn’t mind seeing any doctor electronically, as long as they don’t have an attitude, and my healthcare bill will shrink substantially which will play nicely into my budget.

Of course, each to their own. This post expresses my personal opinion on the subject.

This post was written in response to The Daily Post Prompt Drive

 

 

 

 

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