Flu season is fast approaching. But some smart-thinking doctors are helping their patients avoid catching the sniffles by cutting out the waiting room and talking over Skype instead. Read on and find out how Skype video calls help connect doctors and their patients, whether they’re miles or just minutes apart.
It can be tough to secure a doctor’s appointment during the busy flu season. And, even if you manage to make one, it can be even harder to make it to the waiting room – with snow or winter weather making for poor transport conditions too.
But your doctor could be ready to see you, whatever the weather, especially if they’re using Skype.
We’ve noticed that more and more doctors seem to be using Skype to talk to their patients and to video conference and knowledge share with their peers.
In fact, after doctors on TV programs like Embarrassing Bodies used Skype video calls, more doctors have been embracing group video calling as a way to connect with patients who live in rural areas or find it difficult to get along to their local practice.
One McDowell County health clinic – the Tug River Health Association – started using video calls to connect physicians and patients after one of their doctors moved away from the rural West Virginia area and found it difficult to travel back and forth as often as needed.
Tim Crofton, a spokesman for the Tug River Health Association, said Skype was easy to use and will be used by the clinic even more frequently in future.
He said: “As a health care provider in a rural area, we were very familiar with tele-medicine. We have used tele-medicine for video conferencing, seminars and other matters, but this was a first for us in terms of a physician visit with a patient.
“We tried it out with a couple of practice runs to make sure that it would work. We were concerned about patient privacy matters, but it was secure and everything worked out.”
So, if you live far away or don’t feel well enough to brave the cold, why not ask your doctor if they can carry out your consultation over Skype?
Video calls are free – so it won’t cost you or your doctor anything at all. And it could save you from having to make a long trip to your local clinic when you could be resting up at home with some chicken soup instead.
Would you like to swerve past the waiting room and see your doctor over Skype?