Telemedicine is great for dermatologists. How about for the other doctors?

Doctors in operating room performing bypass surgery on patient.
Image courtesy of Sujin Jetkasettakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Most skin conditions have certain diagnostic features that are easily recognizable to a trained professional like a dermatologist. The visual nature of these diagnostic features allow dermatologists to effectively evaluate and diagnose many skin conditions online through telemedicine. Dermatologists are not the only specialists that can use telemedicine to improve outcomes, save time, and reduce costs for their patients. Surgeons are beginning to incorporate telemedicine into their standard of care.

Surgeons do surgeries. Granted it would be quite difficult for a surgeon to perform surgery through your computer. After the surgery though, it is important for to doctor to monitor how the wound is healing. Traditionally, this required the patient to get in their car and drive back to the doctor’s office. During the appointment, the doctor would ask a few questions and take a quick gander at the wound. If the wound looked good, the patient was promptly sent on their way. If the wound did not look so pretty, the doctor might prescribe some new medications and then promptly send the patient on their way.

Fortunately, the year is now 2016 and patients are not restricted to the tradition office visit for a follow-up evaluation. Using telemedicine services like HealthLens, patients can upload photos and answer pertinent questions about how their wound is healing and send them to their surgeon without ever leaving their home. Additionally, if their wound starts to take a turn for the worse, patients can immediately send an online visit to their doctor instead of waiting until their scheduled appointment date. Follow-up wound checks are a common example of how surgeons are using telemedicine to make life a little easier for their patients.

Why is my insurance company promoting their telemedicine service to me?

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Foremost, your insurance company is promoting telemedicine because insurance companies understand the benefits of services like HealthLens. The insurance companies have run the numbers and assessed the effectiveness of telemedicine, and have come to the conclusion that the use of telemedicine is beneficial for the patient. Not only is telemedicine much more convenient than a traditional office, but the proper use of telemedicine can catch serious conditions sooner and improve patient outcomes afterwards.

Your insurance company is also promoting their telemedicine service to you for another reason. By pairing you up with a random healthcare provider on some discount telemedicine service, they are able to save costs. Although this is practical for the insurance company, it does not always guarantee the same level of care that your doctor can offer, whether through telemedicine or office visits. The leading telemedicine experts agree that telemedicine is best performed by doctors who are part of systems where patients already receive care.

When it comes to deciding what telemedicine service is right for you, choose the one that will connect you with a doctor that has already seen you in their office or can see and treat you in their office following the online evaluation.