October 4, 2022
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Hot! The Rise of Telehealth Services

Modern medicine is a marvel to behold. From innovative cancer treatments to the fundamentals like germ theory, healthcare helps people live longer, feel better, and achieve greatness.

Unfortunately, many people fail to get the healthcare they need. While the reasons for this are varied, it often comes down to access and affordability.

Enter telehealth. Also referred to as telemedicine, telehealth refers to the use of technology to help more people get the treatments and medicines they need to stay healthy. 

The rise of telehealth can be attributed to the rise of digital technology, particularly the proliferation of mobile device usage. Let’s take a closer look at all the ways in which telehealth is helping people across the world:

Reproductive Health

Governments around the world continue to make it difficult for women to access reproductive health solutions. Fortunately, telehealth providers are filling the gap by offering contraceptives sold online and shipped to your door. The list of birth control brands accessible via telehealth includes all major labels as well as generic alternatives. The same goes for other sexual health solutions, including prophylatics and STI testing.

Mental Health

Seeing a therapist was once a difficult thing for most people. They had to live in a major city (where most therapists work) and afford the out-of-pocket expense of weekly sessions – neither of which was practical for the majority of the population. But thanks to telehealth, people can now consult licensed mental health professionals via smartphone. Someone living in Iowa can speak with a therapist in Philadelphia. Some telehealth therapists may even be able to prescribe medication, depending on their credentials.

Virtual Examination

While many medical treatments and therapies require in-person examinations to approve and dispense, others aren’t so stringent. For example, most doctors can diagnose the common cold and prescribe treatment over the phone. As a result, more people are turning to telehealth as an affordable and accessible means of getting basic healthcare. It has the added benefit of reducing the pressure placed on local clinics and hospitals.

At-Home Testing

Uncertainty about one’s health only adds further stress and anxiety. The ability to get answers is essential. Unfortunately, many people put it off until it’s too late. However, thanks to telehealth, more people are able to test for various conditions and diseases. From allergy tests to food sensitivity tests to STD testing and even cancer detection, the list of at-home testing options seems endless. Typically, individuals take the test, send the sample off to a lab for analysis, and get the results via a mobile app. While uncovering an underlying illness doesn’t solve the problem, it allows medical professionals to devise the right treatment options going forward.

Questions and Answers

It happens to everyone: you visit the doctor, they see you for a few minutes, they ask if you have any questions, and you can’t think of anything. Fast forward two hours later – when you’re back home on the couch – and suddenly you have several questions for your physician. Thanks to telehealth, patients can schedule at home visits and have their questions ready for the doctor, therapist, or even naturopath. Via email answers may not arrive immediately (doctors are busy people), it’s faster than waiting for them to return your calls, or simply make an appointment over zoom and come prepared! 

Cost-Effective Solutions

Healthcare is an expensive endeavor. Any way to lower costs without compromising the quality of care is considered a major improvement. With this in mind, it’s no surprise telehealth is on the rise. It provides everyone with a more cost-effective means of providing and receiving medical treatment. As time goes on, telehealth solutions will become even more cost-effective.

Privacy

While there are genuine concerns over data privacy in regards to telehealth, existing laws like HIPAA provide adequate privacy protections for patients. What these laws can’t do is prevent your neighbor from seeing you walk out of a cancer treatment center and other ways in which our medical history can be revealed to friends and family. Telehealth improves privacy by limiting the amount of time we spend at clinics and hospitals.

Given the many advantages, it’s no surprise that telehealth solutions are on the rise. It’s safe to say this trend will continue for years to come.

Michael Driver is a freelance writer from Texas. When not writing about technology, he loves covering topics related to history, movies, and sports.

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