According to a recent survey of 1400 consumers, 71 percent of respondents said that they had consulted online resources for health recommendations and advice in the last two years, and experts say it’s a trend that’s likely to continue.
The Benefits and Limitations of Telehealth
During COVID, many people used telemedicine for the first time, says Michael Green, MD, a board-certified OB-GYN and Head of Clinical Operations at Winona.
On the contrary, more personalized data and increased accessibility to on-demand tests will allow patients more control of their own health and wellness, says Dr. Dlott.
Douglas Roest-Gyimah, a licensed clinical social worker and Chief Executive Officer of Upstate Counseling in Albany, New York, claims telehealth has increased access to care for his patients, including those without reliable transportation and those who don’t have the time to travel to a physical medical office.
Still, factors such as a poor internet connection and lack of privacy can make telehealth challenging, Roest-Gyimah says. Also, Dr. Green explains that getting a patient’s vitals and other data isn’t always possible during remote appointments.
In complex cases or illnesses requiring acute care, a patient would need to see a doctor in person, according to Dr. Dlott, but overall, patients are pleased with the convenience of telehealth.
From genomics to medical screening, direct-to-consumer (D2C) medical testing significantly expands the care options many patients possess, says Jacob Hascalovici, MD, a pain specialist, and Chief Medical Officer at Clearing, a telehealth platform for chronic pain patients.
According to providers, the pandemic accelerated the door opening wider for virtual healthcare, and it’s a shift that’s likely to continue over time.