The advancement in technology has several benefits in various industries, including healthcare. For instance, healthcare companies looking for staff could conveniently access the website of a physician recruiter, enter their details, and connect with the agency. Communication can then continue via email or over the phone. There is no need to physically visit the office since they can do everything remotely. It’s also the same with providing healthcare services. Telehealth or telemedicine uses technology to provide services to patients, including consultations, scheduling, monitoring, and giving reminders. While it has several benefits, it also has its drawbacks. Below are the pros and cons of telehealth.
- It’s more convenient. Telemedicine offers the convenience of getting the service of a healthcare provider at the comfort of your home. Those who have mobility issues or are too sick to commute will find it less of a hassle to get their consultation online. The physician can get more information about the patient and provide diagnoses or recommendations. Physical therapists may also guide their patients with the exercise they need to do in a remote session.
- It saves time. Patients don’t have to drive to the clinic or hospital to meet with the physician, which will save their time, especially if they live far. Also, it can prevent missed appointments since patients don’t have to leave home. As long as there is Internet connectivity, they can conveniently show up on the scheduled date and time.
- It lessens the need for face-to-face consultation. There are various ways that physicians provide telehealth services. The patient and the physician can have a real-time conversation or record messages and send images for later viewing. The healthcare provider may also monitor the patient’s condition remotely. Patients can send various data like a blood test result or the weight and temperature.
- It’s cheaper. The healthcare providers can operate from home, thus saving on the rental fee for the clinic. They can then pass the savings by charging patients a lower cost. Both the patients and practitioners will save money from their fuel as they don’t have to drive to the healthcare facility.
- More patients are reached. There is no limit to the geographical location since healthcare providers can reach patients wherever they are, as long as they can access the Internet. Those who live far from clinics and hospitals will benefit from it. Also, those who are traveling can still get in touch with their physician through this.
- It requires gadgets and Internet. Patients need a gadget like a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone to get telehealth service. They also need an Internet connection.
- Not everything can be done remotely. Although various services can be done online, there are still those requiring face-to-face meetings, such as laboratory tests and further physical examinations.
- It may not be covered by insurance. There are now some insurance providers that cover telehealth services, but they are still not that popular, so there is a chance that the patient will shoulder the costs.
Although telehealth has its drawbacks, it also has several benefits, especially during this pandemic, where people are best to stay home as much as possible for their safety.