Patients can communicate with their healthcare providers through patient portals to ask questions, set up appointments, and get prescriptions refilled. Such portals also provide the ability to store and securely share medical records, like tab tests and x-rays.
Benefits for patients
Telemedicine can help treat a range of medical conditions. It is most successful when a person seeks care from a qualified physician and provides clear details about their symptoms.
Some other benefits of telemedicine include:
• Telemedicine makes it easier for people with disabilities to access care. It can also improve access for other populations, including older adults, people who are geographically isolated, and those who are incarcerated.
• Preventive care: Telemedicine may make it easier for people to access preventive care that improves their long-term health. This is especially true for people with financial or geographic barriers to quality care. For instance, a 2012 study of people with coronary artery disease found that preventive telemedicine improved health outcomes.
• Convenience: Telemedicine allows people to access care in the comfort and privacy of their own home. This may mean that a person does not have to take time off of work.
• Slowing the spread of infection: Going to the doctor’s office means being around people who may be sick, often in close quarters. This can be particularly dangerous for people with underlying conditions or weak immune systems. Telemedicine eliminates the risk of picking up an infection at the doctor’s office.