In ancient India, Chinese travelers like Fa-hien and Hiuen Tsang wrote about vaidyshaalas and punyashaalas or hospices for providing healthcare. Fast forward to present day India where a doctor is available online. Today, virtual doctor consultation facilitating websites allow two-way communication between the doctor and the patient by means of technology whereby location is immaterial. Beginning a new chapter in healthcare, you can now connect with your doctor, exchange information and get medicines delivered at your door with just a click from the comfort of your home or office thanks to the new age e-doctor.
According to a survey by Accenture (NYSE:CAN) about 29% consumers preferred virtual doctor’s vis-à-vis personal doctor appointments. The survey also revealed that both doctors and consumers alike admit to the benefits of consulting a doctor online i.e. cost effectiveness (62% doctors and 58% consumers), timely access to care (49% doctors and 42% consumers) and convenience (80% doctors and 52% consumers). A significant observation for the healthcare industry indeed.
Thus, a digitally connected doctor via Smartphone, tablet or computer is preferred for ongoing care or non-emergency cases. Webcams and videoconferencing have the potential of displacing personal visit to the dispensary or nursing home but only if the correct information about your age, gender; symptoms and medical history are duly filled in the website’s questionnaire.
Health problems come unannounced often leaving us confused and unprepared. In such a scenario, online consultation comes a blessing especially when you or your loved one is stuck at home, office or on vacation. The freedom to get medical advice on demand round-the-clock, whatever the location, whenever the time is a major benefit of online consultation that draws people to consulting virtual doctors.
Another plus for going online is the follow-up or routine check-up calls. Your laptop takes away the hurdles of commuting, time and money and replaces them with face-to-face chat with the doctor.
The websites that promote virtual doctors often have the option of providing the doctor of your choice as well. For instance, CallHealth gives you the option of ‘Consult Now’ and ‘Consult Later’ so that you can either consult a doctor instantaneously or schedule an appointment according to your convenience. This holds true even for non-emergency medical issues as well as nutrition and dietetics advice as well as care for behavioural health. The bottom line here is convenience.
Searching the internet for virtual doctors’ site may yield a number of results leaving you unsure about the right choice. The key is to make an informed decision and choose a trustworthy website that empathizes and understands your priorities. For the user, it is important to go through the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) section and browse through the services offered. If you can get a second opinion and your data and case history are secure and confidential, only then should you opt for the website. Also spare a thought to the promptness in connecting you to the doctor along with procedure for cancellation.
E-doctors offer the choice of getting prompt and high quality care at their doorstep without making the expensive and time-consuming trip to the doctor. Thus, virtual doctor consultations would now be seen as integral to coordinated healthcare systems of individuals and companies alike.