In recent years virtual care has been on the rise, and it doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. With new viruses and diseases happening more often, people look for ways to avoid waiting at the clinic with other sick patients, by having a virtual consultation and therapy from the comfort of their home.
Healthcare is at a point where appointments don’t necessarily need to happen in person, thanks to new technology like virtual care services, providing us with engaging treatments without having to leave our homes. Below we’ll explain more about virtual care and some of its benefits.
What is virtual care?
Virtual care refers to the remote interaction between a patient and a healthcare provider, with the use of virtual technologies like video calls, mental health apps, and such. One of the most popular virtual treatment methods nowadays has been VR therapy. It provides treatment from real therapists by using virtual reality headsets to optimize the treatment in real-time and offering drug-free treatment plans for their patients.
Virtual care can also be used interchangeably with other terms like telehealth, although there is a slight difference. Telehealth refers to all aspects of the treatment of various medical conditions done without having to see the patient in person, while virtual care refers to patient-practitioner interactions through telecommunication tools. Although they rely on the internet, they still have plenty of benefits for patients and their healthcare providers.
4 pros of virtual treatment
People love things that are convenient like telecommunication tools that help them do the things they need without having to leave their house or take up too much of their time. This is also helpful for patients who have a tight schedule and can’t miss work or school to visit a doctor. Patients living in rural areas who cannot travel for a medical check-up can benefit greatly from this since it offers remote services.
Virtual treatments also alleviate the stress of finding transportation, lost time, and costs associated with missing an important schedule. In a survey provided by Cisco in 2013, 74 percent of the patients preferred easier access to healthcare over in-person interactions. Nowadays, this is even more popular, and since Covid-19 more people prefer to use virtual treatments instead of going to the clinic.
Telehealthcare is less expensive than in-office visits for both patients and healthcare providers. In addition to purchasing medication and commuting, especially for patients with chronic conditions that require regular visits to the doctor, this can be quite costly. Access to virtual care also helps patients who live in remote areas, are housebound, or can’t take off time from work.
Technologies like smartphones, and virtual reality therapy, benefit the patients greatly. The American Hospital Association reports that a telemedicine program helped save 11% in costs. Beyond just being cost-effective, virtual healthcare services can help boost income by turning on-call hours into billable time, reducing no-shows, and attracting new patients.
Having accessible virtual healthcare services means encouraging people to attend to their health more frequently. They can actively participate in improving their health by addressing health concerns on time and checking frequently on their progress. Another level of flexibility is meeting over a video call or VR, which allows patients to meet their doctor regularly.
This means that you can also reduce cancellation since some of the common reasons for that might no longer be present. Physical discomfort is often the reason why patients cancel their appointments. Having virtual care access can be beneficial for emotionally vulnerable patients and in need of a therapist.
Visiting medical institutions can be quite stressful and often uncomfortable because you feel like you’re sharing your problems with the rest of the patients waiting in the hall. Virtual therapy offers a deeper sense of intimacy between you and your therapist. This also allows providers to connect with their patients from anywhere, and give medical advice when truly needed.
Follow-up appointments can be quite the hassle, and so virtual care makes it easier for doctors to check up on their patients. Intimacy allows you to feel safe and comfortable sharing your issues with your doctor. This also helps with avoiding the awkward and potential anxiety-inducing wait in waiting rooms.
Our lives are moving more and more to the virtual space making it easier for patients and healthcare providers to meet halfway. The future of healthcare will most likely contain a bigger prevalence of virtual care services. And there is no doubt about the great interest among patients, healthcare providers, and institutions.