Doctors and wellness professionals the world over are starting to offer their expertise and services online. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular reasons the health professionals in our network are providing virtual consultations (a patient communicating with a doctor via video link on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop). Perhaps your practice and patients can also benefit from remote care!
1. Make treatment as effective as possible
As a doctor, you may be pondering the merits of this fascinating new virtual healthscape. It has been estimated that up to 50% of patient-doctor visits in the USA could have been undertaken equally effectively via remote consultations. A recent study showed that when it comes to treating mental health disorders (such as PTSD and depression), a virtual consultation from the comfort of the patient’s home is just as effective, if not more so, than a face-to-face appointment with a doctor. This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the global potential for increasing the accessibility, quality, and efficiency of consultations through telemedicine.
2. Overhaul your appointment system
You no longer need to race through oversubscribed schedules with no reprieve while frustrated patients endure delays in crowded waiting rooms. The efficiency of virtual consultations streamlines appointment management, and by initially seeking advice remotely, patients can determine whether they need to be seen in person (many do not).
3. Boost flexibility
Digital healthcare allows healthcare professionals more flexibility. In the traditional healthcare system, doctors and wellness professionals need to attend an office or physically visit patients. Innovative technology now allows doctors and patients to connect from anywhere – by audio or video, from a smartphone, or even through the assistance of robots. “Robotic surgery” is already being pioneered across many specialties!
Work from your location of choice: wherever and whenever you want. The ability to work during convenient times and in different environments – such as a home office – reduces stress and increases work/life flexibility.
4. Enjoy a new revenue stream
The chances are, you are already undertaking extra communicative tasks with patients – answering emails and advising patients by phone. Why not be paid for the extra work? With the flexibility to set the fees you wish to bill, telemedicine allows you to be remunerated accordingly for hours of overtime. Virtual consultations allow greater flexibility over your income. Remote care could also simply be an extra revenue stream - for example, by conducting 5 daily virtual consultations 5 days a week, many professionals are earning upwards of a few thousand extra dollars per month.
5. Reduce patient non-compliance
Virtual consultations allow you to follow-up with patients very easily. This means that the amount of non-compliance with treatment regimens can be dramatically reduced. You can get feedback more easily on your patients’ symptoms and recovery, allowing you to easily adjust treatment as needed.
6. Increase your autonomy in the services you offer
As a doctor you may feel stifled by the lack of freedom to be entrepreneurial. Telemedicine allows you to shape the structure of your business autonomously, by adding new services. The fact that a virtual consultation may be more affordable for patients than an in-person appointment (depending on location) also allows variability in your patient demographics.
7. Keep setup and overhead costs low
Telemedicine services with RingMD are free to set up. All you need is reliable internet and your mobile device. You simply need to register an account online, and then to go through our screening process with our team, to substantiate your medical credentials. We are also happy to advise you on setting pricing structures for your consultations.
8. Remove dependence on insurance
The ability to run a clinic that is completely independent of patient health insurance is an ideal scenario for many doctors. Patients can call for advice from anywhere in the world, and simply pay for the healthcare advice they need, as a one-off fee. In more rural, remote areas of the world, telemedicine is already making a colossal impact in terms of healthcare accessibility and efficiency.
The World Health Organisation reports that approximately half of its member states have fewer than one doctor per 1000 people. In order to address this imbalance it is clear that we need to harness the power of digital communication to care for a wider spectrum of those in need.