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How to have online consultation with doctor : Important tips for patients

Online consultation with the doctors is getting more and more common, as everybody is busy and has a credit card. If  you have any medical problem , just log in any online doctor search and consultation websites and consult a doctor on phone. The important tips to make best out of every online consultation with doctor.

There are many different sites which are offering online medical consultation  in different formats

  • Chat/text bases
  • Voice
  • Video
  • Provided are both free and paid
Prefer video if available, or at least phone call. Avoid text based consultation if possible.
 
Its to risky to have the free medical advice from anyone.
  

 

1. Best sites for online consultation with doctor

  • Lybrate is the site which is focused on the online consultation format. Most favoured 
  • Consultation in chat, voice and video.
  • Doctors are mostly from the metros only but now they are slowly moving in tier 2 and tier 3 cities as well. 
  • Doctors  in all specialities like gynecology and psychiatry and nutritionist.
  • Biggest player among doctor search websites, have pan India presence.
  • Only text based consultation
  • Advantage of finding a relvent doctor in proximity
  • Provides medication and tests.

 

  • Provide online consultations with doctors associated at different facilities of Apollo hospitals in metro cities.
  • Website shows the credentials of the consulate doctors 
  • Advantage of follow up consolation physically

 

 

  • Primary business is online drugs and medication delivery.
  • Online consultation as add on service.

2. which medical conditions to be consulted in online doctor consultation

The popular specialities/ doctor consulted are

  1. nutritionist/dietitian and health
  2. mental health and psychologist
  3. skin and dermatology
  4. sexologist
  5. Ayurveda and homeopathy

3. Advantages of online consultation with doctor

  1. Convenience.   the biggest reason for the people opting for online consultation is the access  of medical advise by mobile phone which is ubiquitous and you do not  have to visit the doctor in person.
  2. cheap : lack of overheads like clinic and staff for attending to patients and larger number of patients help the doctor to give advice at lower cost.
  3. Availability of a doctor. Non availability of a specialist in proximity is not an issue as you can assess from a distance.

4. Conditions to be avoided for having online consultation with the doctors.

Medical emergency

medical emergency is defined as  an acute injury or illness that poses an immediate risk to a person’s life or long-term health.

Never waste your precious time in having online consultation. you should immediately contact to nearest health facility/clinic/doctor/ hospital which can provide first aid and advise regarding further management.

You need advice medical advise for children

Children , in general can not articulate their physical and mental complains and express it accurately to others . In these cases, doctor has to examine the patient in great details , so as to get an idea about the disease. A simple low grade fever can be a sign of a sinister medical condition like urinary tract infection. Online consultation is more likely to miss the diagnosis that physical office consultation.

 You need medical advice for an elderly

Just like children , elderly have very small margin of error in cases of clinical diagnosis and treatment. They are also more likely to have drug overdoses and infections. 

You need a medical advise for patients with hearing, visual impairment and mental retardation.

These patients have communication problems , both in reporting a problem and any drug complication. Doctor are trained to physically examine these patients to decide the clinical condition and treatment.

You have a disease/ medical condition, and develops a new related or unrelated complain.

If you are known to have blood pressure for many years , for which you may or may not be taking treatment, you have a complain of difficulty in reading fine print of newspaper for few days. It is quite likely that you may need to change glasses, but you may have more sinister retinal disease. Online consultation should be the last thing , you should have.

You have a disease/ medical condition, and need to start a medication or change the existing medication.

All medications,  even those taken for pain, blood pressure and diabetes have known side effects. These medications have higher risk of  complications if given in combinations. Doctor advise the single or combination of medications  after through medical examinations only.

You  have a disease/ medical condition, and need any surgery or procedure.

The decision to carry out a surgery or procedure should not be done on asking complains or seeing the records or reports. later has to be clinically correlated with patients physical findings. same hold good if you need a second opinion for your medical condition or its treatment. the second doctor must examine the patient and than correlate the records to give his opinion.

4. Risk of having online consultation doctor.

  1. Risk of wrong treatment or advice. When you take an online consultation with a doctor, it is presumed that you are knowingly taking the risk of having   wrong or inaccurate treatment in exchange of the connivance of having it without seeing the doctor physically.
  2. Delayed physical consultation ;You may actually delaying seeing the doctor in person as you have already received some medical advice. This may delay the identification or treatment of more serious medical conditions.

5. Other important issues related to online consultation with the doctors

All companies take measures to protect the personal and medical data of the patients as per prevalent norms and regulations.

All websites providing online consultation clearly state that  they do not own  responsibility of the adverse outcome of the consultation or the treatment that patient receive from/through  the website. They further clearly state that patient is aware of the risk involved with having online consultation in which treatment is been advised by the doctor without seeing the patient. Details can seen in the ” terms of use” or ” terms and conditions” link available in the website footer.

Must read ” terms of use” before availing the services.

Comment below if find any point missing. Please share it if you think it is useful.

Scientific studies report that most individuals (81%) say that they “learned something new” regarding their health, the last time they went online. The majority (80%) of people found the information through a search engine as reliable.

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