• Ronnie Shalev, MD

Telemedicine-Expanding Access to Care at an Affordable Price

Did you know you could ask a doctor a medical question from your living room?

Yes! You could be sitting in your pajamas in the middle of the night, not feeling well, and have a doctor’s appointment from your couch!

That’s the beauty of telemedicine.

Telemedicine gives patients access to a doctor 24/7 and allows health care professionals to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients at a distance using technology, such as computers, tablets, or smartphones. These days “I couldn’t get in to see a doctor” shouldn’t be an excuse.

Telemedicine can be used for follow-up visits, management of chronic conditions, medication management, specialist consultation and a host of other clinical services that can be provided remotely via secure video and audio connections.

Telemedicine has definitely revolutionized the American healthcare infrastructure and is a cost effective way to get 24/7 medical care and avoid the ER!

Not every service is perfect, though.

There are some disadvantages to Telemedicine. Certain types of illnesses require face to face physical assessments and cannot be diagnosed through telemedicine. Also, the doctor cannot order testing during your visit. Due to a limited physical exam and limited testing, studies have shown that more unnecessary antibiotics are prescribed through telemedicine visits. Additionally, a patient may not ever personally meet the telemedicine doctor and developing a personal relationship is difficult. This might not be an ideal service for patients who want that personal relationship. Lastly, the medical records from your telemedicine visit do not automatically go to your primary care doctor. So if you were started on a medicine and you don’t directly notify your primary care doctor, then he or she will never know, unless, of course, the telemedicine service is affiliated through your doctor’s office.

Telemedicine has expanded access to care at an affordable price and has essentially transformed healthcare. Most insurance plans cover telemedicine visits with no copay needed and what’s even better is that the medical care is easily accessed anywhere from a smartphone!

Use the MediBookr app today to find your telemedicine provider and access 24/7 medical care!

-Dr. Ronnie Shalev is a board certified emergency medicine physician and is the Chief Medical Officer of Medibookr