Introduction to telehealth
A lot has changed in 2020, hasn’t it? Telemedicine, social distancing, working from home, takeout meals, driving to 5 stores looking for a package of TP, it’s been a crazy ride!
And in order to deliver socially distant healthcare, the medical field has made some changes too. Even before COVID-19, you may have heard about the rising interest in telemedicine, which uses the internet to connect patients with health professionals. A video chat with a doctor is an example of telemedicine. So is filling out a secure online form with the information for the doctor to review later. (1)
The American Medical Association found that 14% of doctors were using tele-visits or virtual visits in 2016, and by 2019 that had doubled to 28% of doctors. (2) The same study also found that doctors were excited about using digital tools to monitor their patients’ progress and response to treatments.
Telemedicine went from an interesting idea to an essential way to provide care with the onset of COVID-19. Johns Hopkins University researchers found that during the second quarter of 2020, the peak of the pandemic, 35% of primary care visits were telemedicine visits. (3)
There are good reasons to use telemedicine when you can. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notes the following advantages (4):
- Reduces everyone’s exposure to illnesses like COVID-19
- No need to travel, take as much time off of work, or arrange child care
- Often able to see a doctor more quickly, sometimes same-day
- Address health issues without leaving your home
- Access specialists who live outside of your area
What sort of care can you expect from telemedicine? A lot, it turns out. Here are some of the types of care that can be delivered by telemedicine (4):
- General health care, like wellness visits
- Prescriptions for medicine
- Dermatology (skincare)
- Eye exams
- Nutrition counseling
- Mental health counseling
- Urgent care, like sinusitis, back pain, urinary tract infections, common rashes, etc.
How can you find a telemedicine provider? You can start by checking with your current doctor to find out if they offer telemedicine services, calling your insurance company, or locating a health center (5).
Telemedicine and ED
Telemedicine is a good option for men to get treatment for erectile dysfunction. It’s easy for a man to fit a telemedicine visit into his schedule, and many men are more comfortable discussing concerns about their sexual health through a telemedicine platform. To quote one paper:
“By providing personalized care to patients within the privacy of a patient’s home, telemedicine companies are able to deliver healthcare services to patients seeking consultations regarding topics that had previously been considered too shameful to address in a public space.” – Houman JJ, Eleswarapu SV, Mills JN. “Current and future trends in men’s health clinics”
You should always remember that ED may be a symptom of a more serious underlying issue like diabetes or heart disease and make sure to discuss any concerns with your doctor, whether during a telemedicine visit or in-person visit (7).
So, how does telemedicine work for men with ED? The approach that MyEDMeds.com uses is easy. Instead of the live video method where you need to schedule a video chat with a doctor, you will just need to fill out a secure online form with your medical information, which is then reviewed by a board-certified physician who will follow up with any questions. Pretty simple, right?
For everyday care telemedicine can free up your schedule and provide an easy and private way to get the medical care you need. In many cases, all you need is a smartphone or computer and you’ll be ready to get treatment with the ease of an old-fashioned house call.
5 : https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/ (federal database of health centers)
6: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7108990/ : Houman JJ, Eleswarapu SV, Mills JN. Current and future trends in men’s health clinics. Transl Androl Urol. 2020;9(Suppl 2):S116-S122. doi:10.21037/tau.2019.08.33