Although video telemedicine was recently understood as a futuristic concept fraught with practical limitations and difficulties, virtual healthcare delivery is here. Telemedicine has especially become common in the realm of specialty, such as the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).

Traditionally, rheumatologists preferred in-person visits, but with the COVID-19 crisis and the precautionary measures that set in place, face-to-face healthcare may not be the best idea. Luckily, thanks to telehealth, rheumatologists can provide essential coverage to their patients.

Making a Telemedicine Appointment

With the current global health crisis, unless you or your loved one has to see a doctor. Take precautions and use Telemedicine whenever you can. To receive Telemedicine, you need an internet-enabled device such as a pc, smartphone, or tablet with a microphone, webcam, and internet connection. Unless you have symptoms that your doctor would like to investigate in person, you’ll probably be able to go through a successful consultation virtually.

The Importance of Staying Connected to Your Health Care Provider

If you are living with a rheumatologic health condition, you will understand the importance of having regular visits with your doctor. Whether in person or virtually, you need to stay connected with your rheumatologist. A recent pre-COVID-19 survey conducted to 500 creaky joint members indicated that almost 80 percent of the patients saw their doctor for treatments related to main health conditions, and 50 percent said that they have to go to the doctor every two or three months. While we are treading through unprecedented times, anyone living with a rheumatologic condition cannot afford to stay in touch with his or her health care specialist. These routine checkups are paramount to assess;

  • How well a patient can carry out everyday activities.
  •  Arthritis symptoms and the general well-being of the patient
  • Address any concern about the daily management of the condition
  • Discuss any blood-work, x-ray, or lab results and any progression of disease activity.
  • Queries regarding medications and discuss any side effects

What Telemedicine Can’t Do

Parts of the treatment and routine care cannot conclude virtually. They include;

  • Provide hands-on examination such as access swelling joints
  • Give injections or infusions
  • Take a blood sample for testing.

If you need a face-to-face visit to your doctor, you can rest assured your health care’s office is taking the WHO’s precautions to keep you safe from COVID-19.

The consequences of COVID-19 are noticeable in the day-to-day operations in the healthcare sector, and it is evident that telemedicine is at the epicenter of patient care. At its best, telemedicine is so far an efficient way for physicians to connect with patients, especially now that social distancing is necessary.

Besides reducing the ballooning health care cost, physicians use this new approach to manage time, provide online assessment, make appointments, consult with other hospital personnel, meet patients, and be next to kin. Nonetheless, this communication technology has downsides. For instance, there is a need to balance patient needs and the patient care provider’s availability. Currently, there is a risk over-straining the healthcare resources, especially when doctors must respond to patient’s needs 24-7.

A new communication channel that meets patient convenience and, consequently, limits doctors’ distractions are needed for telemedicine to succeed during the current pandemic and beyond. There is a need for a platform that meets the following essential criteria for telehealth to achieve:

  • Patients and other health care providers must connect on a universal platform. Having one platform for all parties will minimize errors and unnecessary voluminous work.
  • The platform should have a feature that allows the patient’s care team to communicate freely regardless of location, office, organization, and electronic health record source. Information for a particular doctor must flow swiftly without unnecessarily disturbing that doctor or colleagues.
  • The telemedicine platform must minimize data overload and errors by allowing direct communication among caregivers.
  • The platform must be patient-centered. It must allow customers to consent to medical procedures, access, and share information.
  • The platform must prioritize patient needs as well as the doctor’s time and privacy.
  • The platform should guarantee the privacy and integrity of patient data by securing a HIPAA-compliance certificate.
  • It must have a feature allowing physicians to secure patients’ consent.

In a nutshell, there is a need for universal distraction-free communication technology to enhance practice management and communications in the healthcare sector during this viral pandemic and beyond.

COVID 19 stayed longer than anybody expected. Our lives are the former shells of what they were, and with this comes a mental crisis that could even outlast the virus. However, the Baker administration has put into place emergency telemedicine measures. And these measures could help curb the mental health crisis if they are made permanent.

Social distancing is a term that we hear more and more each day. Stay at home orders are also rampant in different countries around the world. These measures have led to widespread economic insecurity and an overwhelming concern about getting infected with the coronavirus.

People facing depression have found themselves unable to receive the usual one on one care of traditional medicine, or group therapy. Going for any medical help has become a preserve for the emergencies. People experiencing anxiety for the first time have no idea of how to get help.

The mental health issues pandemic is one that is getting worse with each passing day.

Crisis centers have recorded seeing 30 percent to 40 percent increases in requests for assistance, with helplines overwhelmed with calls.

For sure, the Covid-19 pandemic is a disaster masked with considerable uncertainty. Even experts don’t have a breakthrough yet, but we are all hoping for the best.

A Glimpse of Hope for Your Mental Health

Earlier in the year, the Baker Administration took a firm stand when it issued an order requesting insurance companies to cover telehealth visits like in-person sessions. A bold move and the response was overwhelming from people facing mental distress.

Telehealth has given individuals the ability to see therapists and Doctors over a video call or phone call; it gives individuals who are suffering from mental health problems away to communicate with their therapists to get the help they need. 

In a time of restricted movement, going to hospital can be of significant risk. However, telemedicine is revolutionizing how patients can access care and medical help, as well as reduce the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It has made it possible for patients to take care of their mental and physical health without having to enter a doctor’s office. It is for this reason that you need to familiarize yourself with the available telemedicine options and utilize them well.


You can use telemedicine for typically anything, from diagnosing a physical illness like the sore throat to talking to a mental health care professional to get a prescription for birth control pills. It is important to note that telemedicine should not be, used for emergencies like a broken bone or a heart attack. Online medical appointments are just like standard office doctors’ appointments; expect you are speaking to your doctor through video conferencing. You can easily browse through your provider’s schedule and choose a convenient time.


Depending on your medical provider, you can use telemedicine for any consultation. Your doctor can send diagnostic images like X-rays and your entire medical history to your telemedicine doctor for review. Ideally, you can access various care options with telemedical services, including psychotherapy, primary care consultations, physical therapy, and some emergency services. If you live far from a medical facility and especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, you can save yourself the hustle by contacting your telemedicine health provider.

Virtual telemedicine appointments will reduce the time you need to take off work for a doctor’s office as can have it on phone or computer at work, home, or anywhere an internet connection is available. With all the benefits discussed, all you need to do is visit Ourdoctor.com to sign up and schedule your online virtual doctor’s visit. You can speak with a doctor in as little as two hours after signing up. Insurance is not required.

The novel Coronavirus (also COVID19) pandemic has pushed telemedicine at the forefront of healthcare provision, supported by global calls for social distancing. In this wake, telehealth has emerged as a practical solution that physicians use during this and other pandemics, especially those requiring social distancing. For many, who find going to the grocery concerning, visiting a hospital office or exam room seems like the last resort, considering infected persons might have been there. If you share the same concerns, here are two ways you can maneuver through telemedicine during a pandemic

1. Remote communication and conferencing

Telemedicine refers to the use of IT platforms to facilitate the delivery of healthcare. It involves patients and physicians setting up remote appointments via phone calls, video conferencing, and other remote communication options available. If you are concerned about your health status, you no longer need to visit the hospital. Instead, you can set up a camera to conference with a doctor for professional diagnosis and recommendations. According to doctors, this helps to deliver healthcare when people are scared to visit hospitals and clinics during pandemics.

2. Online healthcare research

Most people oversight the invaluable resource that exists in online healthcare platforms. Web conferencing aside, you can find updates about the spread of the pandemic, preventative measures you should observe, and practical remedies for symptoms online. Some hospitals, platforms, and doctors send information directly to the patients via mail so that you can use them for periodic updates. You can also visit online resource centers, which contain helpful information concerning managing pandemics.

Summary

IT platforms can be used for healthcare interventions, especially when preventing the spread of a pandemic. The population can receive up to date warnings and helpful information straight to their phone or email. Doctors can offer remote symptom diagnosis through conferencing mediums and even use models to help onsite practitioners provide necessary medical procedures. You can also subscribe to authority feeds, notification centers, and newsletters for up to date information about the pandemic.

As healthcare systems cope with coronavirus, generic ED drug prices continue to fall

TEMPE, AZ, UNITED STATES, May 5, 2020 – eDrugstore.com, the nation’s leading provider of online prescription lifestyle medications, continues to monitor prescription prices as COVID-19 puts added stress on the healthcare system. Prices for the majority of both generic and branded erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs fell between July 2019 and January 2020. However, branded drug prices bounced back in February 2020.

Trends are drawn from pricing data from 15 retail chain pharmacies and three online medical facilitators, including eDrugstore.com. Data was collected for Viagra and generic sildenafil, Levitra and generic vardenafil, Cialis and generic tadalafil, Staxyn, and Stendra.

The majority of ED drugs declined in price between 2019 and 2020, with generic drugs accounting for the steepest decline in prices. Viagra was the only branded drug to increase in price between July 2019 and January 2020.

Viagra proved the exception in February 2020 as well, being the only branded drug to decrease in price. Levitra saw the largest price increase among branded drugs at 4.10%. Generic drug prices continued to fall between January and February 2020, with Tadalafil daily, the generic drug for Cialis Daily, experiencing the sharpest decline at 22.96%.

“Generic drugs help consumers save money across the board,” stated Kyle Rao President at Secure Medical. “As branded drug prices rise, it’s important for patients to have access to affordable prescription medications. eDrugstore.com offers cost-effective branded and generic ED medications online.”

By monitoring drug-pricing trends, eDrugstore.com provides consumers with comprehensive, up-to-date information so they can make the right choices for their treatment. “eDrugstore.com is committed to saving patients time and money when ordering their preferred treatment options,” continued Kyle. “And we will continue monitoring prescription prices to see if they hold insights for drug prices in general during COVID-19.”

With Covid-19, more people are using services like eDrugstore.com, the leader in online lifestyle telemedicine, because of our flexibility. Our services are 100% online, from doctor consults by phone to online prescription ordering. We even ship directly to your door, so you never have to leave your house.

About eDrugstore:
eDrugstore Medications Online
5801 S. McClintock Drive Suite 107
Tempe, AZ 85283, USA
Call: 1-800-467-0297

The novel COVID-19 pandemic has forced health care specialists to turn to online solutions. Most of them have said they currently see the positive signs of this.

India, one of the countries hit by the new coronavirus, issued a lock-down on March 25, which forced doctors to resort to telemedicine to cater to patients. Dr. Mythili Krishnamurthy, a gynecologist in Tamil Nadu, a state in India, was compelled to attend to her patient online in line with the government restrictions to slow down the spread of the very-contagious virus.

Doctors over all over the United States have used telemedicine companies such as Ourdoctor to analyze the symptoms of patients who have shown signs of having the Covid19 Virus. 

A Practical Tech Solution to Prevent COVID-19 Spread

While many countries are implementing telemedicine, it hasn’t gained ground in many places. Some drawbacks to its success include the involved costs, liability, patients’ security, and poor computer literacy among health care providers and patients.

Dr. Wang, a Medical Director at Saint Barbara Health Center, New Jersey, said, “I’ve now realized that we get shallow medical information about our patients in our exam rooms. Now I’m astonished about the many pop-up messages I get on my phone.” She not only believes that telemedicine saves time, money, and travel, but it can exponentially improve.

Statistics indicate that three in four Americans have to stay at home, but that should not be at the expense of the health conditions. Many doctors, including Wang, never foresaw doctors using telemedicine during this global health crisis. Many seventy-year-olds have turned to social media to communicate with their doctors. That contradicts the rational thought that senior citizens don’t know how to use smartphones.

Some of the roadblocks to the implementation of telemedicine in the US include reimbursements issues, legal matters like patient privacy, licensing, insurance, and security. The federal health programmed such as Medicare and Medicaid, eased the geographical and financial requirements for telemedicine practices. Now many insurance providers have decided to do so, as well.

To put an end to the Covid19 pandemic, government officials across the globe have called for citizens to avoid leaving home. However, many seniors need to see their doctors for ongoing medical needs. Thanks to advances in telemedicine, patients can meet virtually with healthcare providers without risking increased exposure to airborne infectious disease.

What Is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine, or telehealth, primarily deals with preventive care and treating acute medical conditions. It includes remote monitoring via phone, the Internet, email, and mobile apps. Much of this is home-based, but it also encompasses services rendered through medical facilities.

Advantages

  • Accessibility: Seniors can consult with a physician online at any time from any location rather than only being able to reach a doctor during office hours. This capability significantly increases access to healthcare for underserved populations such as rural patients.
  • Convenience: Remotely Speaking with a provider can save seniors time and energy typically spent on making trips to visit and wait on a doctor. Remote doctor visits relieve patients and their caregivers of the burden of transportation to and from an office.

Seniors can use online resources to address many common illnesses, including mental health conditions, from the comfort and safety of home. Remote doctor visits are especially helpful for patients and doctors during the pandemic, and the technology has great potential for increased capabilities beyond the current health crisis. Ask your healthcare provider if telemedicine is a good fit for you.

John Lynn is an entrepreneur and a blogger with extensive experience in the information technology sector of the healthcare industry. Among his many IT skills, John takes particular pride in his ability to bridge the gap between those who are technically savvy and those who are technically challenged.

Q: Based on your experience in healthcare-related IT, how do you see the healthcare experience evolving for providers between now and 2025?

A: The biggest change I foresee is an increasing use of AI (artificial intelligence). I expect AI to take over a lot of the mundane tasks that plague healthcare today. And I think that’s true for nurses, doctors, and even the doctor’s front-desk operation. Everyone involved in healthcare is going to be impacted by AI. 

Now, it’s not going to replace the doctor as some people have suggested, but I think that it will augment medical professionals in ways that are going to make them more efficient and more effective. And it’s going to improve the care that patients receive. 

Q: In what areas of healthcare will AI have its earliest impact? 

A: We already see it to some degree in radiology, where the FDA has approved a handful of AI-assisted diagnostic tools. It probably will show up next in back-office operations. Already, chatbots are interacting with patients about bills, scheduling, and even in a kind of triage function. These bots can make sure patients are directed to the right source of care, and they can even assist doctors by suggesting potential diagnoses that the doctor has not yet considered.

AI is also helping doctors to formulate clinical decisions by supplying input on drug interactions and potential allergic reactions. But I think we’re going to see that accelerated to a much higher degree where the decision support will go beyond flagging potential drug-allergy interactions to something more specific involving such factors as genomics and biomics. This could help to ensure that patients get treatment tailored much more closely to their specific needs.

Q: How will IT alter the patient experience in the years ahead?

A: If I were to walk into a doctor’s office right now, the nurse would know nothing about me, and the doctor would know only what the nurse had asked me before the doctor entered the exam room. Our visits to the doctor should include much more information that’s being collected by ourselves, by sensors, and by previous doctors’ visits. 

AI could assist by filtering through all the information that’s available from our personal devices, our past health history, and our genomics to give the doctor a running start when he walks into the exam room.

Q: What kind of other technological advances do you foresee in healthcare?

A: Ambient voice technology, already in use to some degree, could improve things immensely for both providers and patients. I imagine something like Alexa in the exam room listening to what’s happening between the doctor and the patient, recording it, and then applying voice recognition technology and natural language processing to understand what’s being said and by whom. 

For more from John Lynn on this topic, read the full interview

This interview has been edited and condensed.

The advent of the pandemic COVID-19 has disrupted the normal functioning of American lives, and the healthcare sector is no exception. Increasing emergency response costs for unnecessary cases are burdening the economy. Health care conversations have shifted from affordable care to measures of managing COVID-19, whose value will be borne by the government. The issue of the ballooning health care cost presents serious cost implications on the American economy amidst calls to increase funds to the COVID-19 funding package and the state-level emergency fund.
Health care researchers spread over the years have studied and implemented policies to reduce the price tag associated with non-urgent issues in the emergency departments. For several years people have failed to embrace self-care directives. Instead, they overcrowd the emergency centers delaying attention for deserving cases.
Statistics from previous pandemics show that the percentages of people that visited the emergency centers due to unnecessary reasons increased. For example, 87% and 90% of the H1N1 emergency visits in 2008 and 2009 respectively were avoidable. The government lost up to $2,032 in response to unnecessary cases that can be addressed less expensively.
The current pandemic has elicited more fear amongst Americans due to uncertainty on the criteria to determine emergency cases of COVID-19 symptoms. More people will probably visit the emergency department even when they can recover through self-care.

One plausible solution that can reduce the hefty emergency treatment cost as Americans grapple with novella coronavirus is virtual care. Medical experts recommend triage through telemedicine to determine the risk of diseases and consequently avoid overstraining on healthcare resources, especially during pandemics. Companies such as Ourdoctor have developed platforms for triage. Individuals exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 can fill the Ourdoctor online assessment to determine whether they need further medical care. The platform connects them to a pool of a U.S licensed healthcare provider and reports any suspected cases to necessary authorities. Telemedicine is an essential triage tool to filter patients who do not need emergency treatment during the current COVID-19 pandemic.