As virtual doctor visits become more prevalent, people’s experiences in Canada have revealed some key advantages to virtual care.
- Virtual appointments enable a person to interact with health care providers (e.g., specialists) who were previously inaccessible due to distance or availability.
- Attending an appointment from a preferred location (e.g., home, work) can save you time and money by reducing the need to travel and take time off from work or other responsibilities. It was observe that in 2019, Canadians saved 11.5 million hours and $595 million in avoided travel costs by using virtual care.
- Meeting with a virtual doctor in Ontario can keep a person safe from viruses and other illnesses that can be found in hospitals and clinics. There is also no risk of infecting others who are compromise at the hospitals or clinics.
- With virtual appointments, it is easier for a person to receive support from family or other important people (e.g., home care staff, social worker) because they require less travel and can join the appointment from wherever it is most convenient for them.
- Meeting virtually with a health care provider can work better for support and convenience, and even more so if a person suffers from a chronic condition.
- Telehealth has been steadily growing for years, with companies all over the world assisting patients. It has not become a common form of patient interaction because it contradicts the time-honoured tradition of the physical visit.
- Remote care is back up by sound reasoning. A person with possible COVID-19 symptoms typically has a dry cough and a fever (other symptoms can be fatigue, difficulty in breathing, and loss of smell and taste). They can have a quick “video visit” with a doctor or nurse instead of going to a clinic teeming with potentially infect people, and they won’t pose a risk to the medical professionals who might otherwise be exposed.
- Virtual consultations with Virtual Health Clinic are also more efficient because they require fewer medical workers to oversee the consultation, allowing them to focus on other tasks. Once studie and proven to be effective, chatbots or “doctor-less” screening can be used to reduce the burden on clinicians. Patients who are concerned about their symptoms can seek advice, and the algorithmic system will respond with the most useful answers based on what has worked best in the past.
- One of the many benefits of using virtual care is that the smartphone is gradually replacing the stethoscope, as it is replacing everything else. Patients can use the phone’s microphone to perform remote self-examinations, which uses an algorithm to analyze coughs and determine whether a person has pneumonia.
- Another benefit of using virtual care was demonstrate when a recently published study of over 47,000 people at Scripps Research that found that data from smartwatches on resting heart rate (which typically increases before abnormal body temperature or fever) predicted the onset of flu-like illnesses in geographic clusters as well as, or better than, established means.
Disclaimer: The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.