When Vanu, a single mother, received a phone call that her 5-year-old daughter has a nasty cold, she didn’t panic or get hassled. Vanu simply logged on to an online medical help related website from her office, typed out her daughter’s condition, received proper advice from a paneled doctor from the website and conveyed the same back home to the caretaker.
Vanu’s case is not an isolated one. Virtual doctor consultation is a blessing from the cyber world to time-crunch facing people who are unable to always physically attend to medical emergencies.Whereas some of us have googled our symptoms or looked up for treatments for self or our loved ones, e-consultation is a relatively new trend that’s gaining popularity largely due to the convenience factor. So how online doctor consultation work and what does are its benefits and pitfalls – let’s find out.
Pros of online consultation:
No location hurdles is a major benefit of online health consultation. You can consult a doctor virtually anywhere, anytime. Whether you are at home, office or vacation, you can get the expert medical advice and that too, in no time.
No Waiting for Appointments
Gone are the days when the patient had to wait in long queues for the doctor’s appointment. Now, all you have to do is to log in, fill in the details and get connected to your doctor.
Better than Self-Diagnosis
There are people who rely more on self-diagnosis either by word of mouth or by google. They’ll check the symptoms or browse through various treatments. A hit or miss method, this could turn against them especially in case of serious medical conditions or a nagging health problem which could be the body signaling a serious condition. Expert advice and proper diagnosis cannot be substituted with reading up articles or checking websites.
Although online consultation is convenient, getting proper diagnosis plays a vital role too. A reputed and ethical online health care consultation sites offers a reliable solution and online booking but also sends a trained healthcare professional to your doorstep to examine and perform physical assessment within 60 mins. This physical assessment is supported by a qualified and experienced doctor on video call who then prescribes medicines or tests. What’s more, you can get diagnostic tests done from home and medicines home delivered too.
If there are sensitive medical topics you need to discuss or seek medical advice then online consultation provides the perfect answer as your privacy is valued by reputed sites.
Cons of online doctor consultation:
There is a greater risk of the wrong information being provided on the net. For instance, a patient might not give exact details of his symptoms because he is not aware of the symptoms himself. In such cases, a physical diagnosis or actual diagnosis of the condition, ailment and symptoms is important before the doctor can prescribe medicines. This maynot always be possible in the case of online doctor consultation.
Limited Options to Evaluate the Quality
Nikita, an IT professional, remembers changing her gynaecologist during her pregnancy if she wasn’t satisfied with the advice given to her. “I wanted a gynaecologist who could tell me about natural treatments or home remedies rather than just popping a pill. So I used to change my gynaecologist if I wasn’t sure,” opines Nikita with a shrug. Nikita’s case is not an isolated one. In conventional consultations, patients may change their doctors if they aren’t satisfied. However, unlike traditional doctor consultation, the online service provides limited options for patients to evaluate the quality of care.
Selecting Online Health Consultation
After knowing the pros and cons of online consultation, if you want to choose e-health consultation, make sure you ask yourself the following questions first –
- Can I get a second opinion?
- How soon can the site connect me to the doctor?
- What is the procedure for cancellation?
- Will my data and case history be secure and confidential?
- Are online consultations more convenient for you?
If you are satisfied by the answers the site provides then go ahead and consult your e-doctor.
In a nutshell, e-consultations have a lot of advantages like saving time and money, quicker results and convenience. However, one should opt for only trustworthy sites that offer you quality healthcare and assurance of security. So, stay informed and take care of yourself and your loved ones.