If you cast your mind back to the start of 2018, who would have thought we would all be confined to our homes in a series of lockdowns to prevent the spread of a Coronavirus? The virus is very effective at transmission and can even survive on surfaces and despite wearing masks and social distancing, Covid-19 still manages to infect people. Digital technology is playing a major role in defeating this virus, which is already mutating into new strains; here are just some of the medical services that can be delivered via the Internet by way of video conferencing.
- General Medicine – Many Australian GPs are now offering virtual consultations, where patients can join in a Zoom call with the medical professional, which is often adequate for the doctor to make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe medication. The doctor asks you the same questions as with a face-to-face consultation and may ask you to direct your webcam to a specific area of your body to enable a closer examination. Of course, if the doctor feels you should come to the surgery, this would be recommended, which might lead to seeing a specialist, but many patients can be effectively treated using virtual appointments and prescriptions.
- Skin Care – Each person has unique skin and when you suffer with acne or sun damage, professional treatment is advised and with prescription acne medication by QR8 Mediskin, the skincare experts interact with you via a video conference. First you fill in an online questionnaire, with essential background information that helps the team to create a perfect skin cream to deal with acne. This is followed by a virtual consultation and the skincare experts actually manufacture a skin cream just for you, which is delivered to your door, along with full instructions and for the duration of the treatment, you have a one-on-one consultant who monitors your progress via Zoom.
- Mental Health Counselling – Mental health was very much swept under the carpet until a few years ago and with the pandemic affecting millions of people, it is comforting to know that there are always online counsellors that you can call. An hour a day talking with a specialist can really make a difference and the fact that you are remotely connected has no real bearing on the treatment. Here is an interesting article about e-pharmacies, which are definitely the future.
- Physiotherapy – This is another field that is currently offering virtual consultations for their patients and rather than visiting the physio’s clinic, you simply hook up with a Zoom call and the medical professional can assess your condition. Not only that, the physio can observe you carrying out the exercises, making sure you are performing correctly and a short course would be all you need to recover quickly from an injury or improve specific area of fitness. Click here for Australian government information on health & well-being.
The above are just some of the ways that telehealth is helping to beat Covid-19 and with a global vaccine rollout, we should be returning to normal in 2021.