Why teleheath is becoming the mainstream

In the UK, the way we receive healthcare hasn’t changed significantly over the past 100 years. But as the average waiting time for patients to see a GP continues to rise (by 30% in the last year to nearly two weeks) and with our increasingly “on-demand” society it is little wonder that people are turning to a telehealth alternative.

Telemedicine can be defined in a number of ways and this is why it is becoming a mainstream alternative to “in-person” visits. For example, people might say that if they make a phone call to the GP surgery and they get solutions delivered to them right away, either over the phone or by sending an email, then this process can be classed as telemedicine because you are using technology through your phone or emails to access medical advice.

Since telemedicine has started to become more widely recognised, there has been an increase in the amount of apps and solutions developed by health-tech companies to help the UK tackle the long waiting times for patients and reduce the pressure on the NHS.

Currently, video consultations are less widely used but, as we’ve seen in highly successful models in the US and Ireland, it is a practice which can help to eliminate waiting times, provide patients with an immediate diagnosis or second opinion and, when introduced into the workplace, can drastically help to reduce absenteeism.

Telehealth can hugely convenience patients and is being introduced into more organisations such as care homes to benefit their residents. The service can also support patients coping with long-term health conditions such as COPD and diabetes, as they have around the clock, seven days a week, access to a doctor without having to leave the comfort of their own homes.

It is a service that also fast becoming popular with doctors, as using a telehealth service can mean they get to see more patients within the hours they want to work, and increasingly doctors are adopting the service as an everyday practice. At VideoDoc we have a varied portfolio of doctors on our platform, we currently have stay at home mothers who are slowly starting to return to work as a GP and older, experienced doctors who want to semi-retire whilst working for us.

Although telehealth is becoming a mainstream service, this does not mean that “in-person” visits to the GP will be obsolete but allows digital doctors to advise patients on routine issues, which means that GPs can dedicate time to complex and challenging cases.

For example, our doctors fill out a consultation form during the appointment which we are able to email or fax over to your registered GP, we also store it on the system so you are able to show it at any later appointments you may have. Having these notes available to access at any point allow doctors to gain a greater insight into their patients and deliver more personalised care.

So why not give telehealth a go and receive “on-demand” healthcare wherever you are.

This is a guest article written by Mary O’Brien, CEO and Co-Founder of VideoDoc

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