Tele-Health: Can You Get an Accurate Diagnosis Virtually?

Online meetings with your doctor have numerous advantages over visiting your doctor in person. These types of medical appointments have risen since the onset of the COVID pandemic and can be better for the patient and for the community as a whole.  

A tele health appointment enables you to stay at home if you feel unwell and yet still obtain online medical care. It minimises the risk to the patient of picking up infection if immunity levels are low, and it helps reduce the spread of infection in the doctor’s surgery and waiting room, especially important if you have an infectious disease or illness.

Tele health appointments are becoming increasingly sophisticated. These days you can have a live face to face consultation via video software such as Skype, Zoom, or any of the other video platforms available. So you can speak to your doctor and he or she can see you from your smartphone or tablet.

One way to make the tele health diagnosis more accurate would be if the patient received a visit from a health care assistant who could measure temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure at the same time. That way, the doctor could obtain the hands on information without having to be physically present at the consultation.

You can also use messaging and send images so that your doctor can access your information later. Patient portals could facilitate this type of communication so that you could send your information and expect a response once your doctor has made a diagnosis.

Not all doctors surgeries are offering tele health appointments yet, and in many cases, the appointment can only be carried out by telephone, but tele health is certainly something we can expect to see more of in the future.

At present tele health consultation is generally used as a preliminary diagnosis. A tele health diagnosis can be accurate, but it does not really replace human intervention. Oftentimes, a doctor will be able to detect that something is wrong by other methods – such as how you carry yourself, your skin tone and smell. These are hard to monitor over a video call, yet are instantly apparent in a face to face consultation.

Despite the drawbacks, the trend towards virtual tele health appointments is going to continue because the advantages do outweigh any negative issues. In most cases, a doctor will request to see you in person once the preliminary diagnosis has been made, or if he or she suspects an underlying issue. In addition, it is important to remember that doctors are human like anyone else, and plenty of conditions have gone undetected even in traditional face to face appointments.

The bottom line is that you can get an accurate diagnosis virtually. In most cases, your doctor will be able to accurately prescribe treatment and see your condition over the screen. It will make seeing a doctor safer and quicker too. If you are comfortable with technology and you have a laptop or tablet so that the doctor can see you, there seems to be no reason why not.