Although the pandemic has brought virtual telemedicine to the mainstream, the trend has been gaining ground for the last two decades. Many people discovered telemedicine benefits when the pandemic struck and it was necessary to pursue alternative ways of seeking medical treatment. To their credit, telemedicine providers have done well to make virtual telemedicine work for millions of patients worldwide.
Let’s explore the different conditions that can be treated through virtual telemedicine and the overall benefits of telemedicine.
Mental Health Conditions
Mental health telemedicine has helped online doctors in Florida and other states to treat millions of patients with mental health conditions such as ADHD. It’s estimated that 4% of Americans over age 18 have ADHD, and about 40 million American adults deal with a mental illness each year.
Given that only about 577,000 mental health professionals were practicing in the U.S. as of 2017, it’s clear that there’s a shortage of physicians to help people with mental disorders. Fortunately, virtual telemedicine is helping solve this shortage. Through telemedicine, patients have easier access to treatment because they can consult a mental health professional online.
Virtual Telemedicine Has Enabled Doctors to See More Patients Online
Thanks to telemedicine services, physicians can attend to more mental health patients in a given timeframe. Remote doctor consultation is more effective than one-on-one consultations because doctors and patients can schedule sessions for a time that works best for them. This reduces the time wasted in line in a doctor’s office and the number of no-show appointments, saving a physician a lot of time. In the long term, doctors use their time more effectively because they can plan their schedules more precisely.
Additionally, telemedicine for mental health treatment makes it easier for patients to deal with and avoid social stigma. Since mental health patients can access treatment from the comfort of their homes, they can undergo treatment privately and avoid feeling uncomfortable in public.
In the United States, alcoholism ranks third when it comes to deadly diseases. Before virtual telemedicine, it was hard for many Americans seeking alcoholism treatment to find a detox doctor who would prescribe alcoholism medications. The first stages of alcoholism treatment may require a patient to enroll in an alcohol detox center to complete a detoxing process. Afterward, the patient can continue with treatment online without reporting to a doctor’s office.
Using virtual telemedicine, doctors can facilitate online counseling, which is the most important part of alcoholism treatment after a successful detox process. Counseling helps alcoholism treatment patients not to relapse as they transition from being addicted to alcohol to being alcohol-free.
The Benefits of Using Telemedicine For Alcoholism Treatment.
There are benefits of using this technological advancement when treating alcoholism. First, sadly, patients fighting addiction to alcohol also have to fight stigmatization in society. Most people view alcoholism as a consequence of choice rather than a disease that requires professional treatment, as it can be triggered by biological and psychological causes. For instance, people dealing with insomnia and high stress levels can turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism and slowly become alcoholics.
Thanks to virtual telemedicine, patients undergoing alcoholism treatment can get a prescription for alcoholism medications from an online doctor. As such, patients can keep their treatment private until they are completely alcohol-free.
Virtual telemedicine has been around for decades, but its application has become more apparent in the last two decades. Experts worldwide agree that it is the future of healthcare. Telemedicine has revolutionized service delivery in healthcare and enabled doctors to attend to more patients online. Besides mental health and alcoholism treatment, telemedicine can be used for adult ADD treatment and general treatment for small ailments, such as coughs and colds.