Telemedicine can be an excellent way for doctors and patients to save money and be more efficient. Virtual doctor visits can cut down on wait time and reduce overhead since virtual visits do not require specialized equipment.
When you are sick, sometimes the last thing you want to do is drive to the doctor and wait to be seen. Although it may be helpful to talk to a doctor from the comfort of your home when you are ill, there are risks when the doctor cannot do a physical exam.
These are some of the risks of replacing the doctor’s office with a computer screen.
Video cannot replace seeing
Even with a video feed, the doctor is going to depend on your description of your symptoms. There are some symptoms you will not be comfortable putting in a video and others that are difficult to see in a video. You and your doctor can have high definition video and high-speed connections, and it still will not match being able to see a symptom in person.
There are other symptoms that a doctor would typically touch or measure with instruments to diagnose. Swollen lymph nodes, rashes and injuries are among the symptoms that are more difficult to diagnose remotely and could lead to a misdiagnosis.
Reducing your risk in virtual visits
Telemedicine is still incredibly convenient in many circumstances, but it is essential to understand the limits of a virtual consultation. If you have complex symptoms, you may need to make an appointment in a doctor’s physical office.
The crucial part of utilizing virtual medical visits is knowing when you need to seek more advanced care. After your virtual visit, pay attention to your symptoms. If your symptoms do not improve or if they start to get worse, you should seek medical attention immediately.