According to WHO, telemedicine is a term formed in the 1970s, which means “healing at a distance.” 

Following the recent Covid-19 pandemic, telemedicine has been at the forefront of the fight against the virus. This global virus has forced a needed change in how we look at healthcare systems. Governments have had to ramp up their telemedicine offerings in recent times to reduce the flow of traffic to emergency rooms.

In a bid to stop endangering healthcare giver’s lives, hospitals around the world are using telemedicine both within and without the hospital to reduce the incursion of patients needing care. Videos visits are helping to minimize exposure of hospital staff and the exposure of immune-compromised patients.

How to Use Telemedicine?

The best place to start is to contact your health care provider. Most hospitals have a telemedicine portal and app for all their patients. Register and follow all their prompts.

However, if you do not have a PCP, you can still get access to urgent care on the go. There are urgent care apps like Ourdoctor that can give you virtual access to a doctor when you need it.

Over the years, telemedicine has aided doctors to treat patients in three categories:

  • Patients with ongoing conditions like depression or diabetes
  • Patients with everyday care issues like birth control or hair loss
  • Patients with urgent care issues like cold and flu

Kyle Rao, CEO of Ourdoctor, says that there are people of all ages benefiting from using telemedicine it isn’t just young people.

How to Pay for Telemedicine?

When you sign up for telemedicine services like Ourdoctor. Insurance is not required. You can either sign up for a one time visit or a monthly subscription.

When Should You Go to the ER?

Issues of a more severe nature warrant for a visit to the ER. For example, regular shortness of breath, given existing circumstances, should be enough reason to visit your doctor.

Advance notice of your arrival at the urgent care center will benefit you in the end.

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, commonly known as the coronavirus outbreak, public health professionals and government authorities have advised people to exercise social distancing to slow down the spread of the virus and consequently save lives. But a lot of people are now wondering how they can access medical services when social distancing. The solution to this dilemma is telemedicine.


Telemedicine can be understood as the process of getting the services of a doctor remotely via the phone, text messages, or even video calls. According to Dr. Rahul Sharma, telemedicine offers an excellent opportunity for healthcare providers to do their part in helping the public minimize the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19. For instance, with telemedicine, people with compromised immune systems, and those in quarantine can get the attention of a doctor without leaving their homes.


It is, therefore, not a surprise that several healthcare providers have reported a tremendous increase in the number of tele-visits in the last few weeks. For instance, compared to the previous six months, Multicare, the state of Washington’s leading community-based health system, has reported a 1300 percent increase in average daily tele-visits this month.


According to Dr. Finkelston, most visits have been about upper respiratory issues such as sinusitis, common cold, coughs, and fever. In other words, most patients who have been seeking medical attention through telemedicine in the recent past have symptoms similar to those that are associated with COVID-19.


But how reliable is telemedicine? Dr. Finkelston notes that teledoctors rely on a patient’s history to diagnose about 80 percent of the cases that they come across. Besides, teledoctors have the necessary experience and lots of medical tricks to understand their patient’s problems without necessarily having to see them in person. For instance, although it is not possible for them to remotely listen to a patient’s lungs, they can examine their respiratory patterns or even get them to take their heart rates. This can be quite helpful in ensuring that doctors get adequate patient information for them to offer the most appropriate medical advice.

Coronavirus, also COVID-19 (the respiratory diseases caused by the virus), has been threatening to be a global pandemic and already claimed an estimated 5,000 lives. With new reports of the illness surfacing in different places, many operations have come to a halt, including the suspension of public gatherings. As researchers search for a functional vaccine and treatment for affected patients, congress has been voting on funding Medicare waivers for telemedicine and telehealth services.

The HIMSS (Health Information and Management System Society) canceled their Florida conference last week as a precaution to avoid contracting the deadly virus. In this wake, telehealth lobbyists have spotted the opportunity to push its adoption, citing evidence from the epidemic as a sufficient sample of the value of telemedicine. Telemedicine has emerged as the most effective approach to avoid contact with coronavirus.

New Message for Patients

If you fear that you are infected with the coronavirus, doctors and nurses have a new message. Use the phone first. More doctors involved with coronavirus are steering patients, with mild to severe flu symptoms, towards non-contact telemedicine healthcare. This includes visits conducted via telephone, secure messaging or interactive videos, and web conferencing. The same healthcare system is deployed for providing care remotely to those infected or suspected to have COVID-19.

Telemedicine isn’t novel as it has long been used to expedite care during flu seasons. It allows caregivers to provide instructions and valuable information to affected patients remotely. This form of medical care also allows the doctor to monitor and track the progress of their patients. Besides ruling out contact with the virus, telemedicine reduces long queues at the facility and provides instant help through remote communication technologies.

But How Effective Is Telemedicine in Virus Management?

According to experts, COVID-19 is similar to influenza in its airborne transmission and symptoms manifestation. As such, the same methodologies are used when evaluating patients suspected to be infected. However, there are several challenges telemedicine faces, especially when it comes to organizing actual on-site treatment for patients in severe stages.

The Coronavirus and Telemedicine: A Viable Option

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread each day. As of today, the WHO (World Health Organization) estimates as many as 101,927 people are infected, and there have been numerous deaths. Telemedicine can be a valuable tool to utilize and help ease the possibility of catching the disease.

What is Telemedicine
You still see your regular doctor or an emergency physician. Instead of personal contact, the doctor sees patients via a computer using a program such as Skype, Zoom, or even FaceTime. According to Dr. Alexander Vo of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), University in Austin, Texas, describes it as direct-consumer technology in the medical field.

Telemedicine and CVID-19
The growing telemedicine services provide care to those who either can’t see a physician. It can also treat other illnesses by diagnosing them via a computer. It is ideal for patients only needing medication or those with mild symptoms of a cold or the flu. It can aid patients by avoiding contact with other people in clinical or hospital settings where contamination can occur.

Dr. Vo serves as the Vice President of Telemedicine and Health Innovations at UTMB. He stated that this method could help by slowing down the infection and could help stop the growth of this contagion. It will reduce the transmission of other diseases by lessening direct contact with others in a waiting room or hospital emergency room.

It is also useful for those exhibiting CVID-19 symptoms. Doctors and healthcare professionals can prescreen for Coronavirus using this growing technology. When a case is suspected, the clinician can arrange for those individuals to get tested in a safe and isolated situation.

Telemedicine helps reduce infections by limiting exposure to others. People need to take extra precautions when it comes to this virus. It can spread rapidly, infecting hundreds each day. One of the best ways to try to manage and cut down exposure is through this new technology.

Studies conducted at the CDC (Center for Disease Control) show that 85 percent of seniors aged 65 years or more have one of the everyday lifestyle or old age conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and arthritis – and this can mean high healthcare costs.


The struggle to deliver affordable and accessible health care to seniors may worsen instead of improving. A report released by the Population Reference Bureaus predicts a 75 percent jump in the number of American seniors in need of home-based nursing care by 2030. The same report indicates that the number of individuals aged 65 years and above will increase to 98 million people by 2060 from today’s 46 million – this is expected to strain the delivery of care to the elders.


Health practitioners are considering introducing telemedicine to bring healthcare to seniors and cut the cost.
Telemedicine is expected to address these challenges:

Older people struggle to show up for an appointment: Such conditions as Parkinson’s disease, mobility problems, and arthritis prevent seniors from traveling to seek medical care. Those without children or spouses can be isolated.

Care providers lack visibility: primary care providers are often uninformed of the seniors’ recent health history or need for new medications. The lack of clarity makes it challenging to deliver effective care.
Communities often don’t have on-site expertise: medically fragile seniors often find themselves living in communities without sufficient physicians who can avail care as quickly as possible.

The benefits of telemedicine to the healthcare of seniors can be put into four categories:
Disease management: Seniors with chronic conditions often worry that their days are numbered. With telemedicine, however, the management of these diseases becomes easier and adds more years to the seniors’ lives.

Convenience: Telemedicine removes the need to travel to health care centers or wait for physicians.

Fewer hospitalizations: Since telemedicine provides on-site care where the seniors are, there is no need to be hospitalized at a health care center.

Better visibility and coordination: With telemedicine, doctors will stay abreast of the senior’s changing medical conditions and respond to them in real-time.
Staying healthy at old age

Staying healthy at old age, as more American seniors get old, there is a need to cut improve access to care and cut the cost of care by rolling out large scale telemedicine. Telemedicine lets seniors live vibrant lives for longer.

Due to the ongoing flu season, Ourdoctor recommends patients to stay at home.
Ourdoctor telemedicine system can be used by people with flu symptoms instead of one having to visit an emergency room or a doctor. Kyle Rao Ourdoctor CEO asserts that flu is a significant health problem since it spreads very fast. It is thus crucial to help prevent its spread, which is why they are advocating for minimal movement among patients.
According to Rao, the disease makes one quite uncomfortable, which is why it is vital to make patients feel comfortable besides helping curb its spread.


Ourdoctor conducts virtual visits for patients with life-threatening conditions. Ourdoctor services are available to any citizen above three years within the state. Further, one is not required to have been a regular patient to receive services.
According to Rao, flu is among the leading life-threatening conditions around this season.


During this season,
According to the Center for Disease Control, the flu season runs from October to May. Hospitals in Michigan have put in place measures to restrict visitors to help prevent the disease’s spread. There has been an increase in the use of virtual visits in the recent past as the technology becomes popular among the population.


Ourdoctor has gradually recorded an increase in usage, according to Rao. At present, the application receives patients every day with the last year.
Rao, asserts that during this flu season, close to 65 percent of virtual visits were related to flu. To learn more about Ourdoctor visit Ourdoctor.com

There has been a significant shift on what consumers expect from health care services in recent times. These days, consumers expect health care providers to meet not just the requirements but also go beyond to meet their emotional needs. Telemedicine has been a new concept, but in the world of the internet, it is developing with lightning speed.

So what is telemedicine? This phenomenon is the remote delivery of healthcare services — for example, health consultations and assessments, diagnosis, and patient treatment using standard technology such as smartphones. As the health industry seeks to provide efficient ways to deliver healthcare—at a lesser cost, telemedicine has been at the forefront in realizing this dream.

Leaders in health say that this consumerization of the treatment process has been most beneficial. However, putting healthcare tools in the hands of consumers requires more exceptional care and oversight for the best results.

Wellness Devices vs. Traditional Medical Devices

Traditional medical devices monitor, mitigate, and treat certain illnesses and conditions. On the other hand, a wellness device, for example, a smartwatch, can monitor health-related information and promote a general state of health. However, wellness devices do not treat or diagnose a condition.

Despite the notable differences, these two categories are coming closer to developments in technology. For example, an Apple watch can be used to track your heart rate while some models even support electrocardiography and also work together with a blood glucose monitor.

The production of medical devices has also shifted to making them consumer-friendly and easy to use at home. This feature enables non-practitioners to view the data while the practitioners interpret it, making diagnosis and treatment more comfortable.

The Future of Telemedicine

According to Grand View Research, the linked health and wellness devices market is anticipated to hit $612 billion by 2024. Meanwhile, according to MarketsAndMarkts, the wearable medical device market is also likely to see a surge with $14.4 billion by the year 2022. These figures are just a slight indication of the push towards in-home patient care, where with time, we might experience patients themselves using the formerly traditional medical devices.

Dr. Samir Qamar of MedWand believes that significant advancements are to be expected in the medical industry in general thanks to telemedicine. He goes on to say that the big problem over the years has been people interpreting the data they see. However, when you pair the consumerization of medical devices with medical interpretation, then there will be a success.

Wrapping Up

There are dangers associated with telemedicine, like the wrong interpretation of data and possible attacks by hackers. Despite this, the consumerization of healthcare is giving a more significant focus on patient experience. It is an excellent shift from the disease-oriented model we have today, to that which is patient-oriented. Any practitioner who approaches treatment from the patient’s perspective will have changed the game.

Telemedicine has rapidly gained popularity thanks to its ability to remotely avail medical care over the email, phone, or video chat. Today, people can access birth control, dermatological care, HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP), therapy, erectile dysfunction medications, therapy, and UTI treatments from wherever they are, without visiting a doctor’s office.

Well, the harsh realities– where inmates have complex medical needs and accessing an offsite doctor is a lengthy process– telemedicine has proved to be primarily an integral part of prison health care.

How telemedicine has improved health care in prison

Telemedicine is considered a better alternative to manage the demand for medical care in prison. Here’s how telemedicine has helped:

Shorter waiting time

Telemedicine is a vital triage system. The specialist can go over complaints and do a moderate physical exam with or without the help of an on-site medical staff as well as order diagnostic lab tests if need be. That means that those inmates whose health conditions do not need in-person care don’t have to deal with the logistical difficulties of going to the hospital. Given that inmates are more susceptible to all manner of illness, this reduces the waiting time to receive medical care.

Better specialist-patient engagement

Inmates don’t have to be handcuffed when receiving care. That means the patients can engage directly with the specialists on an equal level. Besides, it is easier to talk to patients (mainly through video chats) when the guards aren’t surrounding the conversation. Even when present, the guards won’t be imposing as they might be when handcuffed to an offsite hospital.

Better health outcomes

Telemedicine has significantly enhanced health care, especially for common conditions among the prison populace. For inmates who are HIV positive, telemedicine has enabled them to have better health outcomes like lower viral loads and stronger immune systems. For hepatitis C patients, diagnosis and treatment have shown similar improvements.

Minimal or no travels

In the past, physicians had to deal with long trips and extensive security to see patients at prisons. Today, they can see them from the comfort of their office. Also, inmates who had to travel offsite for care now leave the prison only for appointments that need in-person care like surgery.

Bottom Line

Telemedicine is a genuinely transformative force for inmates who need specialized healthcare. It has connected inmates to service providers they would not otherwise have access to, and improved provision of services.

In recent decades, everything seems to be moving online, and healthcare should be no different. The healthcare industry changes all the time to make room for new research findings and integrate new systems. Today’s medical industry has changed in ways like never seen before. With the growth of the internet and the dominance of smart devices, people are gradually warming up to the ides of receiving healthcare online. Welcome to telemedicine.

Although you might have just heard of it, this word is older than you can imagine. It is just that the technology is finally finding a home in this decade. Tech companies may have played a big part in this by easing the transition by training people to take care of several things right from home. You can now get your grocery on Instacart or watch the latest movie on Netflix without moving an inch.

When it comes to health, the same applies. Using virtual medicine companies like OurDoctor, can help you get appointments faster than usual. The idea of many telemedicine companies is to keep as many people at home as possible, and rightly so. For example, a flu-stricken patient may be unable or unwilling to go to see a doctor.

With telemedicine, the patient can receive all the help needed online by scheduling a quick video checkup. Dermatology exams, therapy, or pink eye is treatable at home. Just turn on the camera and have a chat with your doctor. To a degree, this long-distance seems to be working. We have noticed tremendous growth in the use of telemedicine over the years. Teladoc, for example, on its busiest day last year, saw over 10,000 patients use their services in one day.

By keeping patients at home, the Telemedicine companies are helping prevent the spread of germs from ailments such as the flu. Another reason for telemedicine is that it helps treat the small maladies at home, while the doctors on the ground focus on the more critical cases.

So who pays?

For the many citizens using Medicare and Medicaid, your fellow taxpayers typically absorb that cost. For the people with health insurance from their bosses, the workforce might end up clearing your bill.

What we have concluded is that most telemedicine visits are from people who would have otherwise stayed at home. If this trend continues, it could mean saving healthcare some money. However, keep in mind that each time you make a telematics visit, a new bill pops up that someone has to pay.

Telemedicine Can Help Fix Overcrowded Doctors Offices with Online Appointments

Healthcare problems are prevalent in all administrations across the globe. From low insurance covers to high cost of medical treatment and overcrowded facilities, the healthcare system is in dire need of an adjustment. Over the last few years, telemedicine has become quite popular within the medical community. In the US alone, around 7 million patients used some kind of telemedicine service in 2018. Pundits expect this number to increase tremendously, considering more than half of US hospitals use telemedicine and there are more than 200 such networks in the country.

How can telemedicine fix overcrowded doctor offices?

Telemedicine simply refers to doctors treating patients remotely instead of face-to-face. It may entail the use of videoconferencing, especially if the doctor needs to inspect the symptoms. Asynchronous telemedicine is also a popular practice that involves using messaging platforms such as email. This is ideal for discussing symptoms and ongoing monitoring that does not require real-time communication. According to experts, 80 to 90% of conditions patients visit the doctor for can be diagnosed and prescribed remotely. This means over half the traffic can be served without the need to show up at a physical premise. Telemedicine makes it effortless to schedule online appointments and provide medical services from anywhere in the world. All you need is an internet connection. Telemedicine can leverage video chats and online messaging to provide comprehensive, 24/7 healthcare.

Benefits of telemedicine

Several organizations do not follow the traditional health insurance model. For most people who lack the resources to see a doctor in person. Maybe you are going to school, work long hours beyond regular business hours, or have no transportation to reach your doctor. Telemedicine is also appealing for those without insurance, which is roughly 27.5 million Americans and also features low out-of-pocket-costs. What’s more, this option can help ease out the traffic and long waiting hours in doctor offices. With digital healthcare apps, telemedicine can quickly improve organization, outpatient monitoring and recordkeeping.