The healthcare industry is constantly changing as new technological advancements lead to new opportunities. By now, you’ve probably heard of both telehealth and virtual care. While both of these forms of healthcare involve seeing a doctor from the comfort of your own home, there are a few key differences to be aware of. If you’re considering using an online doctor, this guide will help you decide whether telehealth or virtual care is best for you.
Telehealth or telemedicine refers to treating a patient remotely. With telehealth, the patient will never need to leave their home. Instead, they’ll ‘see’ a doctor virtually. Platforms can include video, audio or messaging. The range of conditions that can be treated in this way ranges from minor infections to mental health concerns. The doctor will likely ask for a description of symptoms or an image to help them diagnose the patient.
In situations where a physical, in-person examination is necessary, the virtual doctor will recommend the patient visits a clinic for a more thorough investigation.
Telehealth allows patients to attain or refill prescriptions virtually. Usually, these prescriptions will be sent to a local pharmacy within the space of a few hours. Patients who use telehealth frequently enjoy it because it is convenient, fast and reliable.
There are more and more apps and clinics offering telehealth services. For instance, for a virtual doctor, Phoenix patients can try the Bayless Integrated Healthcare Center for all of their physical, mental or social concerns.
Virtual care has a much broader definition. Virtual care refers to all interactions between medical professionals and patients that take place remotely.
This can include phone check-ins after surgery, or a long-distance check-up with your regular doctor. Many clinics now offer virtual care as part of their programs. If you are looking for an ongoing relationship with a doctor who will be able to see you both in-person and virtually, try to find a clinic with a virtual care program in place.
There is, naturally, some overlap in telehealth and virtual care, but understanding the fundamental difference between the two forms of virtual health will help you to determine which will work best for your particular situation going forward. Having access to both of these forms of healthcare will help you speak to a doctor quickly and conveniently, but virtual care may be better for those who prefer an ongoing relationship that can occur both in-person and digitally.
In this day and age, it’s important to ensure you are receiving the latest and greatest healthcare available. In most cases, this will mean you will communicate with healthcare professionals over digital platforms from time to time. Whether you choose to do this over an app, or through a clinic, it’s important that you know exactly what to expect from your virtual care.
By ensuring you have access to your doctor over a virtual platform, you will likely reduce the time you spend waiting for an appointment, have quicker access to important prescriptions and have more free time to complete other important tasks in your daily life.