In recent years, there has been a nationwide increase in popularity of digital doctor appointments. According to Pew Research Center, 81% of Americans now own a smartphone — allowing many to skip the medical waiting room and consult a doctor directly from the comfort of their homes in the form of a virtual visit. Through telemedicine appointments, patients are able to actually see, hear and engage with the doctor or other health professionals in real-time through videoconferencing — just as they would during a traditional in-person doctor appointment.
Telemedicine appointments can help patients, especially those in rural areas, save valuable time, reduce health care costs and eliminate concerns of catching or spreading unwanted germs that we are exposed to during in-person visits. Learn more about how to navigate these digital doctor appointments so you’ll be comfortable and ready to give one a try when the time comes.
How Does a Telemedicine Appointment Work?
Back in the day, it was more common for doctors to travel to patients rather than the other way around. With technology, doctors are now able to travel to our homes without actually leaving their offices, leading to an increasing popularity among patients booking telemedicine appointments.
When you attend your first telemedicine appointment, you will position yourself in front of a camera (a forward-facing smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer camera are popular choices). You’ll be able to see yourself and your doctor or health professional throughout the entire videoconference. Just like in-person visits, information discussed during telemedicine conferences will remain private, confidential and fully HIPAA-compliant.
Are Telemedicine Appointments Costly?
Although costs for telemedicine appointments vary based on a variety of circumstances, costs associated with a digital doctor appointment are typically comparable to in-person visits with lots of added benefits, as we’ve discussed. It’s always best to consult your doctor or medical insurance provider in order to learn the ins and outs of billing for telemedicine appointments, as it relates to your unique situation.
What Some Tips to Prepare for Your First Digital Appointment?
Always remember to check your technology before your digital doctor appointment to ensure that your device operating system and preferred browser are up-to-date. If so, it’s almost a sure thing that your videoconference will go smoothly without any technological roadblocks, though unforeseeable issues are always possible. You can also easily check your Internet speed to make sure your router is operating at full capacity. Simply select “Run Speed” here. Once you’re sure that your technology is running efficiently, everything else should fall right into place.
We hope this helps you feel more comfortable during your first experience with telemedicine and virtual doctor appointments. Always remember that Wearever is here for you and yours, no matter what gets thrown your way during unprecedented times and beyond.