Instead of dragging yourself to the clinic or have someone take you there when you’re unwell, what if you could have a doctor see you in the comfort of your own home?
It’ll be much faster and easier to get an MC (provided you really need it!) and the benefits aren’t just for emergency situations. Even routine check-ups and consultations can be done via telemedicine, saving you time spent in waiting rooms and on buses or trains to get to the clinic.
Telemedicine: The future of healthcare?
Telemedicine is the use of digital communication tools for medical care. It can involve video conferencing, telecommunication, or the transmission of medical images over smartphones or computers.
Taking Singapore as an example, the Ministry of Health approved a new Healthcare Services Bill in January 2020 to license healthcare providers based on the services they provide and not the premises they operate in. This change is to facilitate the growth of mobile and online telemedicine services.
COVID-19 has highlighted the need for remote healthcare services because the last thing you want to do in a pandemic is to wait to see the doctor in a clinic full of sick people. Vulnerable groups such as the elderly are also at high risk of contracting the virus in shared healthcare facilities.
The World Health Organization estimates that 58% of countries are now using telemedicine to replace physical consultations and with COVID-19, behaviours have shifted to increase the adoption of telemedicine.
How telemedicine works
Telemedicine connects doctors and patients when non-urgent care is needed and allows doctors to follow up with patients easily. With telemedicine, you can Facetime your doctor or get on a Zoom call to speak to a doctor or nurse about your symptoms and get a diagnosis. You can send photos or videos to your doctors so they can visualise your symptoms.
You can ask questions through the Zenyum app and have a dentist or customer service officer get back to you, depending on the nature of your question. For example, if your aligners have cracked and you’re wondering if they’re still safe to use, you can send a message via the app and get advice from a dentist.
Is it really as effective as visiting the doctor?
You might be concerned that not seeing a doctor in person might mean they miss out on certain signs or symptoms that you have. What if they make a misdiagnosis simply because they can’t see your physical symptoms clearly?
With telemedicine, there is an onus on you to describe all your symptoms and send clear videos or images of your physical symptoms to your doctor. Studies around the world have shown that patient outcomes from telemedicine consultations are as effective as physical consultations.
Physical visits may never be completely replaced because certain situations require it, such as significant acute illnesses that require constant monitoring and regular lab tests, or emergency injuries from bad accidents.
However, you might appreciate the fact that you don’t have to take time off to go to the doctor or travel to the clinic while receiving a similar quality of care.
No Time For Dental Consultations?
The Zenyum app allows you to ask all your questions during your invisible braces journey without having to make a trip to the dentist.