Telemedicine continues to grow in popularity, and you are finally getting your first appointment. Visiting your doctor from the comfort of your home might feel a little strange, but the following is going to teach you all about an online doctor visit so you know what to prepare for.

What is Telemedicine?

If this is completely new to you, you might not know what telemedicine is all about. It sounds pretty simple when it was described to you; it’s just an online doctor visit, but there’s a little more to it than that.

Telemedicine or telehealth is today’s way of communicating health care to people like you through electronics or internet-based software. The kind of care you could get through telehealth is varied. Some people just see their regular doctors while others see specialists, mental health professionals, and pediatricians, just to name a few. You’ll be able to get care, advice, and even fill prescriptions like this.

Equipment That You’ll Need

It’s important that you have the equipment you need to make this visit a successful one. You’ll need some basic equipment like a laptop or a desktop. For the most part, laptops and desktops come with built-in mics and cameras, but you should be sure you have this.

If for some reason you don’t have a built-in mic or camera, then you’ll have to purchase them. Make sure you only get high-quality equipment so that your doctor can hear and see you clearly. You could also use a smartphone or a tablet as long as you have a mic and camera. If you have all of these devices, consider having them with you during the visit, just in case you need them.

Having a Strong Connection

Internet connection is the next thing you have to worry about. The speed will determine how good this visit goes for you. High-quality equipment can deliver great picture and sound, but that is only possible if you have a strong internet connection.

You should talk to your internet provider to find out if your internet download and uploads speeds are good enough for this telehealth visit. The download speeds should be at least 15Mbps and your upload speeds at least 5Mbps. 

If you can get better speeds than that, make sure you do. You can tell your internet provider that you are going to be having a telehealth visit so that they can suggest something that’ll work for you. During the visit, it may be a good idea to connect to your router using an ethernet cable rather than wi-fi, which is not as reliable.

Setting Up the Visit Environment

Make sure your environment is ready for this visit. There’s a number of steps you can take, like making sure you have this visit in a quiet room. It may also be a good idea to ensure that the room has a door with a lock if you have children because you don’t want to be interrupted during the visit.

Ideally, your kids and pets won’t be home during this visit so that you can concentrate. If that’s not possible, ask someone if they can take care of them while you’re busy. Additionally, make sure there’s enough light in the room, which helps the camera capture images as clearly as possible. You want a room with a lot of windows so that you can let the sunshine in, or you might have to rely on the power of lamps.

All the Things You Can Do

It’s important that you are prepared for this visit. There are a few things you can do to get ready, like having all your questions written down. You could also make sure any symptoms you are concerned about are written down so that you don’t forget.

You should email the doctor to see if he or she would like you to have some tools or equipment to make the visit easier. This could mean you’ll need a thermometer or a flashlight to help illuminate areas of your body as your doctor checks them. It’s also important to have all your medications with you, just in case your doctor asks about them during the visit.

It may seem strange to do all this for a telehealth visit, but taking these steps should make the experience better for you. Talk to your doctor about the visit beforehand if you have additional questions.

About the author

Samantha Higgins

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