6 things to know about telehealth: how to find a doctor in the coronavirus pandemic

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Healthcare in the U.S. has never been easy, but with the coronavirus pandemic, a visit to the doctor is just risky. This is why this crisis has become a moment for telehealth, which links patients to doctors via the Internet. Although telehealth has been around for a few years, recent regulatory updates and increased demand have made it the easiest way to get many types of medical care. And, since you don’t have to leave your home to see a doctor, telehealth is also the safest option right now.

Although it has been a popular therapy platform for some time, telehealth is an option for many types of health care. Emergency centers encourage patients to use their telemedicine options instead of coming. Some hospitals use virtual platforms to screen and sort patients who may have Covid-19, while others use technology only to free up space and staff. Telehealth visits overall increased by 50% in March, according to one measure, and are expected to reach 1 billion by the end of the year.

“Our challenge has always been not to be adopted on a large scale because there has simply been no outreach on a large scale,” Telemedicine provider Doctors on Demand told Recode Hill Ferguson. “In the past month, everyone from the President of the United States to local governors and CEOs of healthcare companies has said that telemedicine is the first line of defense.”

Yet the idea of ​​talking to a doctor via computer or smartphone is undoubtedly daunting for many. There are new services to discover, privacy issues to deal with, and insurance issues to resolve. But with rapid change, telehealth has never been easier.

1) Telehealth is easier than going to the doctor’s office

Telemedicine is generally as simple as a patient chatting with a doctor during a video call. Because these consultations require a layer of confidentiality and security, there are regulations in force for the protection of patients, but they are evolving in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced that video platforms, such as FaceTime and Skype, are temporarily acceptable to health care providers. Zoom has also received temporary approval, although the platform is currently experiencing security concerns. You can also use a service specially designed for telehealth consultations, such as VSee, Doxy, thera-Link and Amazon Chime. Officials say platforms open to the public like Facebook Live and TikTok should be avoided.

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