Telemedicine Questions and Answers
At Totowa Immedicenter, We offer our quality services through telemedicine to our patients. Call us today to book an appointment and learn more about the power of technology.
What is telemedicine?
Telemedicine is a form of healthcare that allows patients to interact with their doctor in a virtual format that doesn’t require an in-person appointment. While appointments are still set and take place at a scheduled time like a typical in-person appointment, they are done through the use of a secure website where the patient and doctor are able to see and talk to each other through the use of cameras and microphones on both parties ends. Telemedicine has been gaining in popularity in recent years, with its use becoming more common and widespread through the Covid-19 pandemic where doctors and patients were trying to limit face-to-face contact with anyone outside of their immediate household and cohort. Telemedicine has proven to be useful and more importantly, effective in many aspects of healthcare by providing patients the care they need, in a convenient and easy to use format that they can schedule into their daily lives without having to worry about travel time to and from the doctor’s office. Telemedicine appointments can be taken from anywhere, provided you have a camera and microphone enabled device, a secure internet connection and privacy.
What is telemedicine in healthcare?
Telemedicine in healthcare involves a patient and doctor meeting virtually over a secure internet connection, with both parties using their camera and microphone to be able to see and talk to each other. Many different facets of healthcare are able to use telemedicine to provide treatment to their patients, including mental health services, primary care doctors and many other medical professionals that are able to treat their patients in a virtual world. Some cases will still require in-person appointments, such as having to stitch an open wound, set a broken bone or have any kind of diagnostic testing done. By asking relevant questions and evaluating the patient’s answers, as well as being able to see the patient through the camera, doctors are able to diagnose and treat patients for many ailments without the risk of spreading germs that comes with in-office visits. Professionals in the mental healthcare space can quite easily conduct their appointments through a telemedicine platform as they are still able to hear their patient and monitor for any visual cues the patient may be displaying during their appointment.
How do telemedicine visits work?
Telemedicine visits are run through a secure web-based platform that is usually managed by the doctor’s office. When you call your doctor’s office to book an appointment, you may be asked if you want an in-person or a telemedicine appointment, depending on the symptoms you are experiencing or the reason for your visit. The office personnel booking the appointment will provide you with initial instructions on how to access the virtual space where the appointment will be hosted and will either provide you with the website plus your login and instructions, or they may ask for your email address in order to send you through all of the necessary information. Prior to your appointment, it is important to ensure your camera and microphone are properly working so there is no troubleshooting needed in your appointment and you can make the most of your time. You will also want to ensure that you have a quiet and private place for your appointment and that you are able to be uninterrupted for that time. You can use any internet-enabled device for your appointment, whether it be a phone, laptop, desktop computer or tablet, as long as it has a functional camera and microphone. At your scheduled appointment time, you will simply need to login to the secure portal where your appointment is hosted, and you will be virtually connected to your doctor. From there, the appointment will run similar to if it was an in-person appointment, with the doctor asking a series of questions to gain an understanding of your symptoms or health concerns. Your doctor will provide a diagnosis and treatment where necessary, suggest additional tests, offer recommendations and any other next steps to your medical care the same way they would have, had you been in their office.
What are three different types of telemedicine?
There are three different types of telemedicine, known as store-and-forward, remote monitoring and real-time interactive services. Each different type serves its own unique purpose and can provide a benefit to the practice of telemedicine. Store-and-forward telemedicine allows medical documentation pertaining to a patient, such as bio-signals and medical images, to be transferred from one healthcare professional to another. This allows the receiver of the images to have access to the patient’s previously documented medical details in order to treat them in a virtual space as opposed to meeting in-person and performing a physical exam. The potential downside of this, is if the records transferred are outdated or inaccurate as this can cause a misdiagnosis. Remote monitoring is often used in chronic disease management, where patients self-monitor or self-test using a technological device. This allows for the patient to monitor themselves remotely and provide the detail back to their doctor for review. Real-time interactive services are what most of us probably imagine when we hear telemedicine. These are appointments that are conducted over the phone or through an online platform to review current symptoms and provide an assessment.
If you want to learn more about telemedicine, or want to use this technology, then we encourage your to reach out to our team of healthcare professionals today at Totowa Immedicenter. We serve patients from Totowa NJ, Paterson NJ, Haledon NJ, Passaic NJ, North Caldwell NJ, Wayne NJ, North Haledon NJ, and Fairfield NJ.