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What is Telemedicine? How to Seek Medical Treatment Remotely?

Telemedicine is essentially a practice of diagnosing and providing appropriate treatment plans using telecommunications technology. Read the article to know more.

  • Oct 28, 2021

As the world continues to grapple with COVID-19, one of the most challenging public health issues of the 21st century, one of the many things that have changed is how people access medical services. With government officials and medical experts advising people to self-isolate and be in quarantine when they experience any COVID-19-related symptoms, a new trend in medical assistance has come to the fore. It is known as telemedicine.

What is Telemedicine?

Over the past year and a half, telemedicine has gained immense popularity worldwide. It is essentially a practice of diagnosing and providing appropriate treatment plans using telecommunications technology.

The practise involves using video calling, wherein the patients consult the doctor virtually. Based on how the patient explains their health condition, the doctors diagnose the problem, recommend treatment, prescribe drugs, and arrange for the medicines to be sent to the patient.

Telemedicine is also often referred to as telehealth, and most people tend to use the terms interchangeably. However, you must know that telehealth involves a broad range of services, whereas telemedicine is a more specific service that deals with clinical services.

How is telemedicine useful in India?

Telemedicine is most useful when patients are in a remote location with no access to a medical facility or find it hard to travel to a nearby hospital. In such a situation, they can consult with the medical experts through telemedicine services and seek appropriate and timely treatment.

Telemedicine has been immensely useful in reducing the waiting times in locations where there is an acute shortage of healthcare professionals or where the local medical services are overburdened with long waiting times.

Recently, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries worldwide have encouraged citizens to actively use telemedicine services to avoid the spread of the disease and get access to immediate medical assistance if they experience any symptoms.

How telemedicine helps in seeking treatment remotely?

Depending on your health condition and location, you can get access to telemedicine services from anywhere you want. Even if you live in a city with excellent medical facilities, you can still use the telemedicine services to consult a doctor of your choice at your convenience.

Most of the telemedicine services require you to pre-register with them to get access to their services. So, even if you don’t need their services at present, it is a wise idea to get yourself registered and know about the type of services they offer. This will help you get access to their services or book an appointment with the doctor remotely anytime in the future when the need arises.

A simple online search for telemedicine services will help you find a wide range of such service providers. Most of these service providers allow access to their services through their websites and mobile applications. Compare the different services and register yourself on the one that appeals to you the most. When you compare, make sure to check the payment structure if they have a one-time annual fee or consultation-based fee structure.

Suppose you have registered for a telemedicine service and have health insurance cover. In that case, you must ask the insurance company about the telemedicine treatment coverage and how you can claim the expenses.

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Ref. No. KLI/22-23/E-BB/2435


- A Consumer Education Initiative series by Kotak Life

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