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Telemedicine Mythbusters (Part 1)

Written by Courteney

Posted on September 2, 2016 at 10:27 pm


Telemedicine is finally on the rise as many people are starting to see just how convenient and effective it is to see your doctor from home, however, many still aren’t convinced that it is an adequate stand-in for a traditional doctor’s visit. In some ways telemedicine actually surpasses brick-and-mortar medicine, such as:

  • Allowing the efficiency of skipping waiting rooms, commute time or having to take time off work to see a doctor
  • Making healthcare more accessible
  • Providing continuing care for chronic conditions
  • Allowing easy follow-up care
  • Providing a safer medicinal route for those with mobility issues or the elderly who may have troubles venturing out.

Next, we want to bust some common telemedicine myths that may be barriers standing in the way of people embracing telemedicine:

  1. You need a physical examination for any doctor’s visit

This is mostly untrue. By the American Medical Association’s calculations, up to 78% of health matters can be addressed via telemedicine. That 78% covers a lot of ground including (but not limited to): infections, rashes, acne, arthritis, minor injuries, STIs, allergies, asthma, as well as management of chronic conditions such as diabetes and many more. Telemedicine acts as triage as well, letting you know if your medical problem is something that needs the be examined, or preventing you from spending a whole day (and pocket-full) in the ER for something that can be managed from home. Never underestimate the power of technology – the doctor will be able to tell a lot from high definition video conferences, photos or videos.

  1. Give medical details over the internet? What about my privacy?

Not all telemedicine companies have the same level of information protection, but speaking from DocChat’s perspective, we use government-standard 256bit AES block cipher and SHA2 encryption to ensure your sensitive information is under unbreakable lock-and-key. DocChat also strictly adheres to HIPAA privacy laws so needless to say, your medical information is safe with us!

  1. Telemedicine doctors aren’t the same as “real” doctors though, right?

Telemedicine doctors are real doctors. Once again, we can’t speak from the point of view of all telemedicine companies, however, all of our DocChat physicians are board certified and just as qualified as any doctor you would visit at a clinic. Many of our physicians also have years of emergency room work under their belts. We conduct a rigorous vetting process to ensure we have only the best working on our team. However, be sure to practice caution when it comes to searching telemedicine companies, as not all of them are as strict about physician vetting. Some companies may not have board certified physicians, so do your research. Another facet of telemedicine includes independent hospital and clinic doctors who also run virtual practices for their rural or immobile patients.

  1. But I won’t be able to get my prescription for the infection I have!

Sure you will! When appropriate, DocChat doctors can prescribe any non-narcotic prescriptions that a face-to-face doctor would. Have an infection? DocChat physicians will happily help you out by issuing antibiotics directly to your pharmacy for pickup or delivery!

  1. You have to be a tech-savvy millennial to use telemedicine

This one is also untrue. While many people may think telemedicine is a complicated, mysterious notion more suited to the younger phone-loving generation, this isn’t the case. It is a great service for all ages. Over 60% of senior Americans go online via smartphone, tablet or laptop regularly and many of our current regular patients are senior Americans who love not having to make a trip out every time they need doctor’s advice. All you need to see a doctor via telemedicine is an internet connection and a website or app. Simply install our easy-to-use DocChat app, sign up and you’re ready to go!

So there you have it, a few common telemedicine myths busted! Stay tuned for Part 2 in the future. Thanks for visiting DocChat!

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* Disclaimer: DocChat is intended as a complementary service to your primary care physician. It is intended for use by those seeking acute health care in non-emergency situations. DocChat does not prescribe DEA-controlled substances, narcotics, or drugs that may potentially be abused. DocChat is not a replacement for your primary care doctor and will only provide short-term prescriptions if medically necessary. If you have an emergency, call 911. If you have a chronic illness, please see your primary care physician. DocChat does not guarantee that our doctors will prescribe medication. DocChat reserves the right to refuse service to any patients it deems to be abusing the intended service or seeking prescriptions beyond a reasonable amount.