Telemedicine is expanding everywhere, especially since the Covid pandemic. Although many people are participating in telemedicine, one fundamental question remains. “Can diagnosing through telemedicine be as accurate as an in-person medical visit? Answering the question will give more information on telemedicine’s effectiveness and make more people comfortable. Read on to find out if the diagnoses match.
It Depends On The Illness
Mayo Clinic did a study where they discovered eighty-seven percent of preliminary diagnoses were confirmed during in-person doctor visits. They also found that the accuracy of the results often depends on the illness.
There are many conditions that doctors can diagnose via telemedicine by hearing patients describe their symptoms. On the other hand, there are conditions where a physical exam or medical tests like imaging are necessary to confirm a diagnosis, for example, skin conditions and sports injuries which are best diagnosed during in-person visits.
Contrarily, telemedicine diagnoses were very beneficial for mental health cases because establishing diagnoses for mental health disorders is mainly done via conversation. Mental health cases had an almost 100% confirmation rate from telemedicine to in-person visits.
According to the study, Mayo Clinic researchers found that there are cases that can be diagnosed entirely by telemedicine and match in-person visits. However, telemedicine should only be an entry point to further personal care for other issues.
Effect On Overall Healthcare
How telemedicine contributes to overall healthcare is still yet to be ascertained, and more studies like the one by Mayo Clinic are necessary. With more use of telemedicine, diagnosis accuracy should increase.
Telemedicine allows more people to access healthcare, especially in remote environments. However, more study is required to determine the best times to use telemedicine.
As hospitals get better at selecting patients for telemedicine, so will the accuracy of diagnoses.