Visiting the doctor is a standard practice among Americans, and some Americans, such as the elderly or those with chronic conditions, may visit quite often. Many Americans have a local, private doctor whom they regularly visit and who has their medical background information, but in some cases, visiting the doctor may be difficult. Some Americans may lack the transport that they need to visit a doctor’s office or go to 24 hour urgent care, so on-demand care may be found online with a virtual doctor. This may sound strange to some, but in fact, this form of on-demand care can be flexible and useful, and convenient medical care may be one Skype session away. A person may find a doctor with an online search such as “on-demand care Seattle online doctor” or “Washington online doctor on-demand care” to find a medical professional whom they may consult in this manner. What is there to know about the telemedicine industry, as it is now known?
Visit the Doctor Online or Off
Doctors get a lot of patients in person, and sometimes, they may be fully booked and unable to see all of the patients who need them. In fact, a general physician in the United States today may get over 3,500 visits every year, and a specialist doctor may expect some 2,700 yearly visits from patients. This means that around 70% of general physicians may spend about 31 hours per week on direct patient care, and around 40% of them will also work evening or weekend hours, too. Overall, this means that while some Americans have a physician whom they can visit when they need to, other Americans may not. Doctors can only see so many patients per day or year.
Another issue is that the patient themselves may be unable or unwilling to visit a doctor in person. Some adults lack the transportation that they need to visit a doctor’s office, but they can’t afford to simply be locked out of the medical industry because of this. In other cases, the nearest doctor’s office is too far away to visit practically except in the most dire of circumstances, and some patients may be highly fearful of germs anyway. In these cases and others, a patient may choose to get on-demand care through the Internet.
An Online Doctor
The idea of getting on-demand care online is a fairly new one, and even 20 years ago, this would have been impractical. Now, with high-speed Internet and the proliferation of live video chat, this is a real industry. Overall, many businesses are making heavy use of the Internet in general, and having a virtual presence is becoming the norm. Many business professionals now work remotely, and may attend a meeting with a virtual presence as a matter of course. They can sit in on a meeting that is hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Such an idea was once science fiction, but now it is a key part of many industries, and that even includes medicine.
A virtual doctor may be consulted if the patient does not have the time or transportation to visit a doctor’s office in person, or if the patient suffers from an intense fear or germs or even social anxiety. Thus, the patient may meet a doctor through their screen, and get a consultation on whatever they need. Patients may look for doctors online and search by their area, or find a doctor who accepts their particular healthcare insurance policy. Searches such as “ear nose throat virtual doctor San Diego CA” is one example of a specific search, looking for an ENT doctor to consult online. Other specialized doctors for different parts of the body, or merely a general physician, may be found and consulted in the same way.
The numbers show that this industry has gained the confidence of medical professionals and the patients alike, and a recent study shows that 52% of respondents were willing to use virtual healthcare in order to see their own provider virtually. Online doctors, meanwhile, can and probably should use computers to access a patient’s medical records. Two in three respondents to a survey said that it’s important for a telemedicine company to have access to their past health records. Online Cloud storage may help.