One of the new things that 21st-century technology has enabled is the proliferation of online doctors – GPs who interact with their patients via VOIP technology. There are obvious and not-so-obvious benefits to this and for many people, this paradigm shift has been a long time coming.
Traditionally, seeing a GP required you find an appointment time at your local clinic by speaking to a receptionist, then adjusting your schedule so you can travel there and sit in a waiting room for your name to be called. Since basically everyone has had to go through this process (or at least as a child with their parents), we are all familiar with how cumbersome and frustrating it is.
Ever since the introduction of video conferencing technology over the internet, people have asked why they can’t just see online doctors instead of engaging the cumbersome traditional process that has been grandfathered into society. Nowadays, it seems, the medical profession is finally catching up to technology and delivering better outcomes because of it.
1. Convenience factor
The big appeal of online doctors is definitely the level of convenience they bring to the lives of people who use them. The ability to have a medical professional examine you via video chat has a huge range of utility to it since many problems don’t really require you to be physically present with the GP for them to diagnose.
This is especially convenient for people who face problems such as feeling too ill to go to work, as they are able to get inspected and get a medical certificate without needing to leave their beds. This means they can recover faster and don’t need to deal with the hassle of driving to a clinic and potentially exposing their illness to others (or contracting something worse form another sick person) during your time in the waiting room.
Unnecessary travel is never a good thing when you are sick or injured, so minimising the need to travel by taking advantage of technology and speaking to online doctors is a welcome development for many. Ultimately it means people can recover faster and get back on their feet in a shorter amount of time.
2. Comprehensive administrative services
We don’t always go to the GP when we are ill then and there, we often engage them for ongoing medical problems or advice that you shouldn’t have to travel to get. A 5-minute consultation where you get an updated script for medication shouldn’t require you to go through a cumbersome bureaucratic process.
This is why online doctors are popular when people want to get pathology requests, radiology requests and other things that are administrative in nature and can be done very quickly. It can also be better for people who may be feeling embarrassed about asking for things like STI testing since there will be a higher degree of separation between them and the practitioner they are speaking to via the internet.
3. Saving people time
People enjoy using online doctors because it saves them time otherwise spent traveling and speaking to receptionists. In fact, medical receptionists largely become redundant in a world where you can use technology to automate the things that they are meant to be skilled at (and often fail to impress with).
Instead of dealing with this old fashioned process, people are engaging online doctors via telehealth services that save them so much time and stress. Dealing with the medical establishment is always vaguely unpleasant and nobody really want to be there, so doing it via the power of the internet can be much more ideal for many people.