In the digital age, everything is accessible right at our fingertips. And now that includes virtual medical treatment. At Naturopathic Family Health we are excited to take part in the telemedicine phenomena, which offers a convenient solution to some patients and physicians through technology.
How it Works
Telemedicine conducts the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients through various technological resources. Doctors and patients are able to interact through telephone, video chat and secure platforms to exchange sensitive information. Patients can exchange photos and messages which allow doctors to diagnose and monitor potential health concerns remotely. A virtual visit is just like an office visit in terms of time, scheduling, cost and care. It simply provides an alternative to the inconvenience of a trip to the doctor’s office.
In this new digital age, it’s no surprise that telemedicine is continuing to grow. In fact, IHS Markit predicts that roughly 7 million patients will use it by 2018.
Of course, the benefits of telemedicine don’t matter if no one is using it. So, what do patients have to say? A survey by NTT Data found that 74% of their surveyed patients were open to trying it. And of this group of surveyed patients, 67 percent said that they were more satisfied with their medical treatment when using it.
Benefits of Telemedicine
Accessible communication provides patients with almost immediate care, which is perfect for minor but not urgent conditions. Because of the many benefits that telemedicine offers, more and more doctors are incorporating it into their practice.
Some of the benefits of telemedicine include:
- More convenient and accessible care (It eliminates geographical barriers, thus providing more immediate and accessible care no matter a patient’s or physician’s location).
- Increased contact with your physician (The accessibility allows the patient to contact their doctor more frequently, giving them more control of their medical care and a stronger relationship with their doctor.)
- Better quality patient care (The user-friendly aspect allows for regular follow-ups and check-ins, which adds to the quality of care and benefits the patient/physician relationship.)
Naturopathic Family Health
While we are excited here at Naturopathic Family Health to take part in this technological phenomenon, it is important to note that it can’t replace the value of in-person appointments. That is why we are only offering telemedicine services to existing patients. Since we can’t take vitals from a screen, we ask that new patients have their first appointment in the office (with the exception of nutrition clients).
We primarily recommend telemedicine appointments for Dr. Casey Berkebile’s patients, as she is now in the office for only a couple of days a month. However, physical exams do require an in-person appointment. Feel free to reach out to us to learn if telemedicine is right for you.