How virtual health can benefit you
Although telehealth, also known as virtual health, has been available for a while, it wasn’t until COVID that many of us visited our doctors through our computers or smartphones. Since then, it’s become a popular way to make health care more accessible.
“Virtual visits are ideal for immediate care problems like acute sinusitis or urinary tract infections, managing chronic conditions like high cholesterol and diabetes, and for behavioral health concerns,” says Dr. Edmund Fernandez, a family medicine physician and medical director of telehealth for Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care.
“We follow established guidelines to decide when a virtual visit is appropriate,” says Dr. Fernandez. “Your doctor will let you know if a virtual appointment is right for you, or if you need to be seen in person.”
Virtual doctor appointments are a convenient option for everyone. But they’re especially helpful for parents, older adults, people with serious illnesses or disabilities, and anyone with limited access to health care.
- Save time. There’s zero travel time and no time spent finding a parking spot. It also means less time away from work or school.
- Require no travel. There’s no need to arrange transportation, and for those who drive, there are no worries about bad weather conditions or driving in the dark.
- Protect yourself and others from infection. Seeing your doctor from home means you’re not exposed to other people who are sick.
- Keep you connected with your trusted physician. If you get sick while you’re traveling for work or away on vacation, an appointment with your own doctor is only a virtual visit away.
“Virtual health visits are a game changer for people who live in rural and other areas where fewer doctors are available,” says Dr. Fernandez. “They also help with the current shortage of health care providers by allowing doctors to extend hours because there’s no travel time.”
Technological advances are also continuing to develop to allow for remote monitoring of blood pressure and other vital signs.
“We can all benefit from new technological advances that improve access to health care, helping us be our best selves,” says Dr. Fernandez.
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.