Whether you live too far from your primary physician, lack adequate insurance, or simply don’t have enough time to schedule a doctor’s appointment, it’s easy to push your health care needs to the backburner. But when it comes to your health, the cost of going potentially untreated is too high to ignore.
So, what can you do to take control of your health from the privacy of home?
Telehealth companies have played an integral role in ensuring access to proper care, regardless of one’s personal circumstances. These companies are helping to break down barriers to care, like time, mobility, and proximity.
From addressing your mental and sexual well-being to answering your general health inquiries, at-home telehealth and lab testing services have made it easier than ever for you to prioritize your health. Let’s take a deeper dive into the various types of healthcare services you can access from the comfort of your own home:
Telemedicine companies make it possible for you to connect with licensed physicians via phone, video chat, or online when it is most convenient for you. While they shouldn’t replace your annual in-person checkups, these services offer around-the-clock care when you need it most. They may be used for non-emergency medical concerns, pediatrics, dermatology, as well as for more specialized health care needs. Here are ways you can leverage telehealth for your general health concerns:
1. Virtual Doctor’s Visits
When you’re feeling a little under the weather, scheduling a face-to-face doctor’s appointment may not be necessary. That’s where telemedicine comes in. Companies, such as Teledoc, leverage telephone and videoconferencing technologies to provide patients with timely, remote care. These services connect users with board-certified physicians who are able to evaluate general medical conditions, such as sore throats, asthma, and sinus infections. From there, they can prescribe the appropriate medications based on your diagnosis.
Instead of waiting days or even weeks to meet with your doctor, you can leverage these services to receive care in a matter of minutes, without needing to leave your home.
2. Remote Patient Monitoring
Remote patient monitoring (RPM) allows physicians to monitor patients outside of traditional medical settings. Using RPM, physicians can access your medical data in real-time and provide informed, preventative care. American Well is a telehealth care provider that has already incorporated RPM into their systems. The company uses patient-reported data, to customize the telehealth experience for its patients. It also leverages an Apple Health integration to continually monitor patients’ vitals through in-home devices, such as Apple Watches and iPhones, and pulls the data to reference during virtual consultations.
As more healthcare providers begin incorporating RPM technologies, it will become exponentially easier for physicians to provide the ongoing care you need. This will help strengthen your relationship with your physician, grant you peace of mind, and improve the overall quality of the care you receive.
3. General Health Testing Kits
Thanks to advances in Telemedicine and at-home healthcare tools, you don’t always need to go to a doctor’s office or clinic to get tested and access your lab results. Many general health markers are available in a convenient, at-home testing kit from myLAB Box.
For example, there is now an at home detection option for diabetes, with the home Diabetes Hemglobin A1c Screening Test. This simple home HbA1c test may be used to check for diabetes or prediabetes in adults.
After you send in your sample, you can review your test results in an easy portal online. myLAB Box even offers you a free Telemedicine consultation with a licensed physician to discuss your test results.
Approximately one in five adults experience mental illness each year, but a majority don’t take the necessary steps to address their needs. Individuals who lack proper insurance or the resources to seek appropriate care may face increased barriers to mental health services. However, the emergence of behavioral telehealth has made it possible for more individuals to receive the care they need, when they need it.
While you can’t schedule your feelings, there are plenty of online services that exist to provide the necessary behavioral care when you’re in need of immediate support. Below are two ways you can access mental and emotional support without leaving your home:
1. Online Therapy
With the advent of behavioral telehealth, more individuals are opting for e-therapy over in-office visits with their therapist. This is due to the fact that people tend to feel more comfortable in their own homes than in a doctor’s office. In addition, they may worry about the stigma or lack of anonymity of in-office therapy.
Online therapy companies like BetterHelp match patients with licensed therapists based on their specific needs. Through BetterHelp, you’re able to message back and forth with a behavioral health professional through a secure chat on any desktop or mobile device. BetterHelp therapists respond as quickly as possible to provide ongoing support and are also available for phone calls and video chats when necessary. If you’d prefer to stay anonymous, you can even register as an alias.
Whereas in-person behavioral therapy can cost upwards of $300 per session in larger cities, behavioral telehealth services also provide more affordable and accessible resources no matter where you are located.
If you have a chronic condition that requires prescription medications, such as for depression or anxiety, you can sign up for a telepsychiatry service. With telepsychiatry, you can connect with a board-certified psychiatrist to discuss your needs and develop a treatment plan. Though most telehealth providers cannot prescribe controlled substances online, your online psychiatrist may coordinate with your primary care provider to recommend the appropriate treatment.
Amwell is just one of the several companies that provides online psychiatric care. Through the company’s video app, you are able to meet face-to-face with a qualified psychiatrist to address your behavioral health challenges, all from the comfort of your own home.
Your sexual health is a critical component of your overall health as it can impact your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. However, barriers to health care continue to persist, making it difficult for individuals of certain demographics and communities to receive proper treatment. Such barriers have caused many to delay or avoid confronting their health concerns – but your sexual well-being is not something you can simply dust under the rug.
Fortunately, telehealth has made it possible for anyone, regardless of sex, race, socioeconomic status, or gender, to access essential sexual health supplies and resources. At the same time, it also cuts out inconveniences like scheduling, costly copays, and awkward face-to-face conversations with physicians. Here are two sexual health essentials you can order for delivery to your front door:
You’ve almost always been able to order non-prescription contraceptive methods online, like condoms. Now, thanks to telehealth, you have access to much more. Conversations about sexual health issues, such as premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, irregular periods, and low libido may not be ones you’re comfortable with having face-to-face. And that’s okay.
Telemedicine services like hims and hers grant patients easy and affordable access to prescribed and over-the-counter sexual health products, such as birth control, yeast infection treatments, and sexual dysfunction medications for both men and women. Through their online portal, users can fill out a digital assessment for a qualified physician to review. Your physician will then reach out to discuss diagnoses and potential treatments for your sexual health concerns. If they see fit, they will then ship your meds directly to your home, making for a quick and seamless process.
2. STD Testing Kits
Many STDs show little to no symptoms at all, making it harder to determine if or when you’ve been infected. However, if left untreated, STDs can lead to more serious sexual health complications, such as birth defects, liver complications, cancer, and infertility. For sexually active individuals, regular STD testing serves as the most effective way to keep tabs on their status. Luckily, many STDs are treatable, especially when they are caught early.
This doesn’t have to be a daunting process either. myLAB Box offers an at-home STD testing program that makes testing quick, discreet, and convenient. In just a few days, you’ll receive your results online in myLAB Box’s secure portal. Regardless of your test results, you can request a same-day Telemedicine consultation with a licensed physician to determine the best treatment option for your needs. In some cases, the physician can even write an electronic prescription that can be sent to a pharmacy of your choice.
The telehealth industry is ever-evolving, bringing healthcare closer to home for all individuals. Long gone are the hours spent in the waiting room and trying to squeeze in the time to schedule doctor’s appointments. As more telehealth companies emerge, you’ll be able to improve and take control of your mental, sexual, and overall health, without all the hassle.