According to the American Medical Association, over 70% of non-life-threatening medical conditions can be resolved by speaking to a doctor over the phone. And this is exactly what telemedicine is – consulting with a doctor over voice calls, video calls or live chat. It is a comprehensive service that can include prescriptions, pharmacy management, lab management, referrals, and other services.
Telemedicine simplifies healthcare for patients, doctors and insurance providers. During the pandemic, we saw a huge increase in telemedicine utilisation not just in the UAE but on a worldwide basis as people sought medical help from the comfort of their own home.
Technological developments have made it possible for telemedicine to develop into a high-quality, effective medical service. It has also made healthcare more accessible and cost-effective, with patients being able to simply dial into quality healthcare 24/7 from anywhere in the world.
How it works
Telemedicine connects a patient to a medical professional remotely, enabling them to communicate and share information in real-time using their computers or mobile phones even if they are not physically in the same location.
The easiest way to access this service is through your medical insurance provider’s mobile app. The app will most likely have a portal where you can enjoy instant access to a doctor, psychologist or wellness expert.
Thanks to technological advancements, doctors can see and capture readings from medical devices at any location, no matter how near or far away they are. Patients can view their medical records and their doctor’s input on their screens in real-time during the course of their consultation.
Generally, telemedicine is included in medical insurance packages, but this can vary depending on your insurance policy and provider.
Medication and prescriptions
Doctors consulted online can write prescriptions for any medicine that you might require, just like when you visit a doctor face to face. In the UAE, you can also get your prescription filled and delivered to your door.
This saves you the time, effort, and money of booking an appointment, visiting a healthcare provider, and waiting for your medication at a pharmacy.
Reduced insurance premiums and other advantages for businesses
The costs an insurer incurs on telehealth consultations are much lower than in-person appointments. By keeping claims amounts low, insurers and businesses can keep premium amounts from increasing too much. It truly is a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Telemedicine is also a great first step in treating minor conditions, making the entire process more time efficient. A few minutes on the phone could replace a whole day travelling, waiting and navigating paperwork and payments at the hospital, reducing employee absenteeism.
Most important of all, the ease and convenience of telemedicine makes it more likely that an employee will resolve minor concerns before they escalate into major or chronic conditions.
Can telemedicine help with all health conditions?
It is important to remember that telemedicine is specifically for non-life-threatening conditions. Though it cannot help with all health conditions, it is a great first step for most of them. It allows you to communicate your concerns with a medical professional and get their advice on what you need to do next.
Minor conditions can quickly be resolved through an online consultation, and if they cannot, the doctor can order medical investigations or refer you to a specialist for more advanced care.
Telemedicine is revolutionising healthcare by making it more affordable, easier, and more accessible to people around the world, at any time. By keeping costs at a minimum, employers, insurers, and ultimately patients enjoy quality healthcare at significantly lower rates.
Beneple clients can enjoy telemedicine consultations on their app. Contact us if you would like an insurance policy that includes this facility, or if you need help accessing the portal on your device.