Online doctor consultations are on the rise. These types of consults are more convenient, offer patients more time with doctors and nurses, and are more cost-effective than in-person treatments.
Online doctor consultations are very similar to in-person consultations. Simply log on to a telehealth website, fill out a form, explain your symptoms, and get a diagnosis. The only difference is that the entire consultation happens online or over the phone instead of in a doctor’s office.
An online doctor consultation works the same way an in-person appointment does. The doctor asks the patient questions, looks at symptoms via photos or video consult, and listens to audible symptoms. The doctor then prescribes treatment and/or medication — right from the comfort of the patient’s home.
In most cases, doctors can write prescriptions for patients they consult online (including prescriptions for mental health diseases and disorders, antibiotics, and non-addictive pain medications). Right now, doctors cannot write prescriptions for controlled substances or medications with dangerous side effects for online patients.
The short answer? Yes, absolutely. In fact, many doctors claim that online doctor consultations are much more affordable, convenient, and efficient than in-person appointments.
Nearly 80% of the diagnosis process is asking the right questions and looking at symptoms. Doctors can do both online via a video chat, by looking at photos of physical symptoms, and listening to patients’ symptoms over the phone. Patients who opt for online consultations actually free up urgent care clinics and emergency rooms for patients that are in more desperate need of in-person care.