How can telemedicine help with Flu season?
Telemedicine and the Flu Season
Telemedicine is the latest advent in the healthcare industry and arguably is also the need of the hour. With flu season now in full swing in many parts of the world one is reminded to still be careful when it comes to the flu. With the flu, people need to question themselves whether stepping near a hospital or a clinic is necessary or not.
“Do I need to be here?” “Should I be here this close and personal to other diseases?” “Is my poor health going to make me more at-risk than I already am?”
These are all important questions, and chances are that their answers are probably telling you to stay at home. This is where Telemedicine comes into play.
Can Telemedicine Diagnose Flu?
Telemedicine can generally be used to diagnose any disease. With the flu, how this works is that a doctor will have a virtual consultation with the patient and then after observing the patient’s symptoms they will provide an appropriate treatment plan.
Telemedicine in general has a lot of benefits. For example, it makes doctors and medical advice more available for the average patient. However, strictly in the context of the flu, there are also multiple benefits of telemedicine:
1. Reduces Unnecessary Contact for Patients
Flu patients are already weak and have compromised immune systems as is. With the help of telemedicine, the patient does not need to travel away from the comfort of their homes and will be able to get a virtual consultation with the help of telemedicine facilities. This will help the patient reserve what little energy they already have.
Moreover, with the pandemic still in full swing, patients that have the flu are more at risk of contracting the coronavirus as their immune systems are somewhat compromised.
Therefore, by staying at home and quarantining they are saving themselves by not being at risk. When a sick patient travels to the clinic they will increase their chances of contacting someone who is a carrier of the virus. The coronavirus combined with severe flu poses a vast amount of challenges and complications for the patient.
2. Saves Time
The amount of time it takes for the patient to travel from their home to the clinic, book an appointment, and then spend hours waiting, can all be significantly reduced with the help of telemedicine.
Patients can book their appointments from the comfort of their homes, take their consultations in their beds, and nullify the waiting time altogether. This will provide them with ample time to rest and recover.
3. Saves Money
Not everyone lives near a clinic and for some people, the cost of travel is often equal to the cost of the consultation. With the help of telemedicine, there will be no need for travel and therefore the patient will be able to save their money and resources. This money can then be spent on ensuring that they get the best treatment possible.
4. Reduces Stress for Patients
The environment of a crowded hospital waiting room and the stress that it brings can prove to be very damaging for the mental peace of a flu patient. Moreover, there is always the fear that they will be unable to get their consultation in time, that they won’t be able to reach the clinic in time, or that they might not even be able to afford the fare from their house to the hospital.
All of these stresses are reduced with the help of telemedicine and the patient can then receive peace of mind. That ensures that amidst the chaos of the world around them they can at least rest when they need to most.
5. Reduces Resources to be Spent per Patient
When the hospital does not have to account for the costs of having patients physically come in it will prove to be very beneficial for the organization as well. The nurses won’t have to spend time noting down the medical history, the hospital wouldn’t have to accommodate for extra equipment, the hospital would also be able to account for more patients. This is because with the help of telemedicine you do not necessarily have to follow traditional clinic hours and patients can be given consultations at any time of the day. Therefore, more patients can be catered to overall.
6. Can be Used to Contact Specialists
Sometimes patients live in remote faraway areas and it becomes difficult for them to contact a doctor that can provide them with the right advice. This is incredibly true in the case of patients that require specialists. For example, if a patient has a complicated medical history it will be best for them to be treated by someone who has a strong grasp of their condition.
Moreover, this will also allow patients to remain in contact with their family doctors; doctors who are aware of their long medical history and can reach an accurate treatment plan much more quickly.
These benefits combined with the convenience of telemedicine make it easier for doctors and patients to combat flu season. With the world moving towards technology it seems telemedicine is the future.
Dr. Josh is a physician who's helping spread the knowledge about Telehealth and its advantages. At SmartClinix, he's providing his expertise and knowledge in the form of engaging articles on various health & tech related topics.