The global coronavirus pandemic has induced fear in many, even when it comes to leaving the house for routine errands. Many individuals feel unsafe or that they may be exposing themselves to risk by visiting the doctor for regular monitoring or minor symptoms of illness.
The healthcare industry has been stepping up in offering virtual and other at-home alternatives to seek consultation, routine check-ups, or therapy in place of in-person visits. Here, mass communications professional Julian Narchet discusses options for how to obtain testing for specific diagnoses and regular monitoring of certain illnesses without stepping outside the comfort of your home.
Telemedicine, commonly defined as healing from a distance, has been around for several years now. However, health insurance companies have been slow to offer coverage and were typically used separately from your primary care doctor and specialists. With the fear of going out in public, suddenly, telehealth options have been gaining approval fast, and doctors have been adapting their practices to continue supporting their patients from home.
Accessing telemedicine appointments can be easy and only require the use of a cell phone, tablet, or computer with camera access. Many stand-alone applications offer appointments, or your doctor may provide appointments directly through their practice website. Once you schedule an appointment, you are typically entered into a virtual waiting room until the doctor is ready to speak with you.
Some examples of types of appointments offered through telemedicine include:
● Common cold
● Birth control
● Common skin conditions (psoriasis, eczema, bedsores, etc.)
● Mental health and psychotherapy
● Pink eye
While telemedicine can’t help with all medical conditions, it is a great offering if you are suffering from mild symptoms and don’t have the time to break away from the office or want to remain in the comfort of your home.
At-Home Testing Kits
For some diseases such as diabetes, at-home testing is already standard for routine checks of blood sugar levels. Some companies have also begun offering direct to consumer test kits for conditions such as high cholesterol, sexually transmitted diseases, urinary tract infections, and more. The test kits require individuals to collect their blood, urine, spit, or a swab sample to mail to a lab. Once processed, results are either forwarded to a medical expert or uploaded onto an app for individuals to view their results.
If you require routine lab work, you may consider speaking with your doctor about the option of at-home testing kits while the pandemic is underway. There are dozens of companies that promote kits; however, it is essential to ensure that the kits are approved by the FDA.
Examples of companies that offer at-home testing include:
● First Check
Other tests offered outside of routine monitoring include allergy test kits, vitamin deficiencies, thyroid, hormone imbalances, and even COVID-19 antibody tests. Regardless of the type of testing kit you seek, consult with your doctor before purchasing to ensure the test will adequately determine the kind of treatment you are seeking.
About Julian Narchet
Julian Narchet is a marketing and mass communications professional, and a Communications Specialist at the University of Miami. He has extensive experience in customer service, market research, academic research, social media, public relations, and event management. He is passionate about making a difference in the lives of others through cooperation with non-profits and healthcare organizations.