Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the world of health care has changed. It is no longer completely safe nor practical for people with medical issues to leave their homes and go to the doctor for routine appointments. That’s why we have seen the fast rise of telemedicine and at-home medical testing. Here is a look at why these trends are likely to continue.
The Pandemic May Last For Years
The COVID-19 virus may be with us until an effective vaccine can be mass-produced. On average, it takes about five to ten years to develop and deploy a vaccine. During that time, it will be difficult for at-risk patients to leave their homes. That’s why the telemedicine and at-home trend is likely to continue.
Easy For Healthcare Workers and Patients
Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals are discovering the benefits of at-home testing and telemedicine. The same is true for patients. Even after the COVID-19 vaccine is developed, many people may want to continue the trend of at-home care. This trend may be especially advantageous for older patients who may have difficulty getting transportation to healthcare appointments.
At-Home Testing is Advanced Greatly
In the past, there were not that many at-home testing kits. Today, you can get at-home testing for everything from colon cancer to HIV. There is even a gonorrhea test you take at home. These at-home tests can replace the time consuming and more expensive in-person appointments.
More Insurers Are Covering Telemedicine
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more insurance companies are covering telemedicine appointments. Even Medicare is covering the vast majority of telemedicine appointments. After the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, insurers may continue to cover telemedicine services, including Medicare.
Telemedicine is Also a Better Option for Most Routine Appointments
Many doctor appointments do not require any real testing. Many doctor appointments are simply requirements that need to be fulfilled for a patient to get their monthly prescription re-filled. During these doctor appointments, the health care provider will simply ask the patient some questions. With a telemedicine appointment, questions and concerns are quickly answered and addressed through a video or a phone call.
Telemedicine and At-Home Test Also Reduce Costs for Both Parties
When it comes to making at-home appointments, a medical office can be completely open to receive patients and process the appointments. With telemedicine and at-home testing, the facility doesn’t have to use their patient rooms or waiting area. Also, patients don’t have to spend the time and the money to visit the office. When you consider that this trend is happening on a nationwide basis, tens of millions of people save on transportation costs.
The Future of Telemedicine and At-Home Testing
As time passes, telemedicine and at-home testing will become more sophisticated. There will inevitably be more different types of at-home testing kits that will be developed. Also, more telemedicine apps will be created to make the experience easier for everyone. Overall, the future looks bright for both telemedicine and at-home testing.