How is telemedicine arranged and is it worth it to seek medical help for remote help?

Telemedicine has been legalized in Russia for more than a year, and the market for such services continues to grow

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throughout the world. The-Challenger editors figured out in what situations you can seek remote consultation, and in which you can not do without an in-person visit to the clinic.

Telemedicine is a way to communicate with doctors from a distance. Thanks to telemedicine, remote receptions have become possible at which the doctor communicates with the patient (or with another doctor, if a second opinion or advice from a more experienced colleague is needed to make a decision) using video, audio calls or SMS. In Russia, the law on the use of telemedicine entered into force in 2018.

A remote appointment with a doctor cannot fully replace an internal consultation, with which the specialist conducts an examination and uses various diagnostic methods.

But in some situations, telemedicine may be useful - for example, when there are no medical care nearby. You can call the “tele” doctor from anywhere in the world, communication takes place in a comfortable environment and at a convenient time.

How is telemedicine arranged and is it worth it to seek medical help for remote help?

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Remote consultations will not work in case of acute conditions (you need to call an ambulance), with pain syndrome of any localization.

For patients with chronic diseases (diabetes, hypertension, chronic heart or pulmonary insufficiency), they use a special technology - remote health monitoring (telemonitoring). In what other situations can you turn to a remote specialist for help?

  • you want to go to the doctor, but don’t know which specialist: the remote doctor helps to determine;
  • in the results of the analysis there are deviations from the norm, you urgently want to receive expert advice on further actions;
  • you want to quickly find out the opinion another doctor;
  • you have already been in person and you need to consult a doctor again.

Anton Vladzimirsky

Doctor of Medical Sciences, Deputy Director for Research, Scientific and Practical Center for Diagnostics and Telemedicine Technologies DZM

- During the initial teleconsultation, the doctor can collect an anamnesis: find out the patient’s complaints, ask about the features of the course of previous illnesses, life, allergies, etc. Based on this information, the specialist will compile a list of diseases, a kind of short list, and offer the correct sequence of actions: prevention, an in-person visit to the clinic, a program of diagnostic studies and so on. During initial telemedicine treatment, the doctor should not prescribe treatment.

If this happens, you cannot trust such a doctor.

After a face-to-face appointment and a thorough examination, when a diagnosis is made and treatment is prescribed, follow-up visits to a specialist can be replaced by telemedicine consultations (in certain cases, of course).

How is telemedicine arranged and is it worth it to seek medical help for remote help?

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Only clinics that have received the appropriate licenses can provide telemedicine services. You can make an appointment with a general practitioner (general practitioner, pediatrician) or a specialist (cardiologist, neurologist, gynecologist, etc.

). Before receiving a doctor, you can learn a lot from open sources.

Denis Shvetsov

General Director of the Doctor Nearby medical company

- In the telemedicine applications of each doctor his experience, specialization and diplomas are described in detail, so he can be chosen according to the criteria of experience or specialization. In addition, patients usually evaluate the consultation and leave feedback. Comments help other patients choose the right specialist.

How is telemedicine arranged and is it worth it to seek medical help for remote help?

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On-call doctors work around the clock, and you can get to their appointment most often instantly - within a few minutes after recording. But the reception of a specialist does not happen so quickly.

Anton Vladzimirsky

Doctor of Medical Sciences, Deputy Director for Scientific Research, Scientific and Practical Center for Diagnostics and Telemedicine Technologies DZM

-The reception time depends on how the work of a particular telemedicine platform is organized. But let's look at things realistically: what could be the reason to seek medical advice at night? Most likely, this is some kind of acute condition: severe pain, persistent vomiting, fever and so on.

In such a situation (at least during the day, at night), telemedicine should not be discussed at all. The only solution: call an ambulance. But is it worth it to bother the doctor at three o’clock in the morning with the question of the birthmark, which you have been suspiciously looking at for three months and finally decided to ask about it, decide on your own.

How is telemedicine arranged and is it worth it to seek medical help for remote help?

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You can communicate with telemedicine doctors via video and audio communications, as well as using messages.

However, video calls are considered the most effective.

Anton Vladzimirsky

Doctor of Medical Sciences, Deputy Director for Scientific Research, Scientific and Practical Center for Diagnostics and Telemedicine Technologies DZM

- During a teleconsultation, the doctor cannot conduct traditional examinations (palpation, percussion, auscultation), perform laboratory, radiation or instrumental examinations . The only tool for obtaining patient data and making decisions is conversation. Obviously, the most complete conversation may be in the video call mode. Verbal and non-verbal communication works here, there is no risk of missing required questions.

But chat and correspondence give a greater sense of privacy.

Denis Shvetsov

General Director of the medical company Doctor Nearby

- For the doctor, The video communication format is by far the most informative, but it is not always convenient for the client. If the client is on the road or at work, it is more convenient for him to make an audio call through the platform with the simultaneous ability to exchange files and photos via chat - this is the most popular communication method, according to our statistics.

How is telemedicine arranged and is it worth it to seek medical help for remote help?

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Teleconsultation prices in Russia can range from a few hundred to several thousand rubles, but in any case, a remote appointment will cost less than an in-person visit to a private clinic.

In addition, you can significantly reduce the cost of telemedicine services when issuing an annual subscription.

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