What is telemedicine and how can it help us in times of quarantine … and perhaps forever?

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The opinions expressed by collaborators are personal.

On April 21 the government of the Mexican Republic announced that the country is already in Phase 3 of the epidemiological protocol regarding Covid-19 , this means that we are already in the stage where there will be more infections and prevention measures are increased. Against this background we must continue at home.

What is telemedicine and how can it help us in times of quarantine … and perhaps forever?
What is telemedicine and how can it help us in times of quarantine … and perhaps forever?

But, what if you need a medical consultation or suffer from a disease such as diabetes or hypertension?

In these times telemedicine or remote medicine becomes relevant since it is a way of providing care to patients who have various illnesses through technology. This option will allow them to maintain their health and control their diseases.

“Distance care by call or video call can have enormous benefits, by not saturating hospitals and reducing Covid-19 infections, thus helping us to better cope with this situation,” explains Fabián Hernández director of the company Monitor Nutricional en interview with in Spanish.

In this context, there are different companies that provide this service, among them are the Mexican startup Nutritional Monitor , which connects nutritionists and psychologists from all over the country with people who require it and Doctor Anytime , a Greek company that seeks to transform and expand access to health in their markets.

Both brands have looked for ways to help their patients by offering a question and answer section with health specialists in case they have a suspected coronavirus or other complaint.

Many people might think that the quality of distance medicine is lower when attending an office in person, however, Hernández explains that it is a myth, according to the biomedical engineer within his platform you can have access to the best professionals in the country .

According to Ortholive, a study with 8,000 patients showed that there is no difference in the quality of a face-to-face consultation to a tele-consultation.

Demand on the rise

The health emergency situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic has exponentially accelerated the growth and adoption of digital strategies for different services such as electronic commerce and ways of working from home. Telemedicine was not the exception.

Emilia Salazar, country manager of Doctoranytime in Mexico, told that, although it is difficult to place a number worldwide in Argentina, where a telemedicine market already existed, demand has quadrupled since the start of the contingency and in Colombia it has 700% grown. For their part, in Mexico they have made 450 video consultations and treated more than 1,200 patients by medical chat in just two weeks.

“What the Covid-19 does is that people are afraid of approaching a health center, so they take the best possible alternative and right now the best possible alternative just to break that fear is the video consultation,” explains Salazar.

He also adds that this event will help them instill the adoption of digital health. Doctoranytime, is a company that connects you and generates appointments with the specialists you need, also offers tele-consultations with first-contact doctors or general doctors for patients with chronic diseases that must continue to be reviewed during this time.

According to the American Medical Association , 75% of emergency and first contact consultations in the United States are made through this method. According to Salazar, it is expected that after the Covid-19 contingency, this trend will continue to grow throughout the world, since at this time people have begun to become more interested in these services and have realized their benefits.

Although not everything is as simple as it seems, it is important to remember that in order to access these services you need a cell phone and a good internet connection, resources that are limited in various parts of the world and in the country.

Other options

To access the Nutritional Monitor and Doctoranytime services, you only have to enter their web pages and follow the instructions. Likewise, we leave you some other recommendations that Fabián Hernández shared with us in case you need remote help:

  • To receive psychological support, the Citizen Council for Security and Justice of Mexico City opened a toll-free telephone line at 55 55 33 55 33. The state of isolation and the pandemic situation can make many people who already had certain disorders able to feel sadness, anxiety and fear. This line is an excellent option to receive professional help 24 hours a day.
  • If you have questions about a symptom or disease, page 1DOC3 offers a free 24-hour chat to answer your medical questions, either by using artificial intelligence to find out if the question has been asked previously or by sending your question to a group of doctors who can answer it.

“These initiatives join many doctors who have offered to answer questions through their social networks in this period of social distancing. Between all of us, we can do our bit to overcome this contingency, “concludes Hernández.

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