Virtual practices have expanded to include visiting the doctor, for fear of turning treatment facilities into centers for spreading infection and in order to provide places to receive people with Coronavirus, so do those who resorted to “telemedicine” see that it is effective in characterizing and treating the disease as it is important to reduce the chances of infection with the dangerous virus?
What is telemedicine?
A term that describes all of the ways that you and your doctor can communicate using technology without being in the same room, and this includes phone calls, video chats, emails and text messages.
According to the “Webmd” medical site, telemedicine is a convenient tool for everyone, as all you need is an Internet and a mobile phone or a computer.
Before the pandemic
The epidemic did not create the phenomenon of “telemedicine”, but it has multiplied in light of the pandemic.
Ahmed Shaker, an Egyptian living in the United States of America, says that he has been communicating with his psychiatrist in Egypt with “video call” – video chats – for two years.
“I needed a psychiatrist who speaks my language so that the communication becomes smooth and simple, and thanks to a friend, I reached my doctor in Egypt,” he explains.
At first, Shaker did not like the subject, saying, “I used to think that the screen kills the intimacy of communicating with the opposite person, but after I got used to it, I found it effective and good, especially since my interviews with my psychiatrist need to speak not to a physical diagnosis that requires measuring vital indicators and so on.” that”.
Before the pandemic, 10% of Americans conducted virtual visits to doctors, according to a 2019 study by the US data-analyzing company, JD Power.
A previous study by Rand Corp, a US non-profit data-analyzing organization, recorded more than 1 million virtual medical visits in 2015.
Application and phone
Before the epidemic, many practiced a virtual visit to the doctor without awareness of it being “telemedicine,” including Reham Bakhit, an Egyptian woman in her mid-thirties.
Reham lives in Cairo governorate, and 4 years ago she was suffering from a gynecological disease that many doctors did not find a solution for, saying, “One female doctor in the Delta governorate of Egypt treated me, when I was visiting relatives there, and because my symptoms are frequent, I used to talk She took her on the phone every month because of the long distance, and she prescribed medication for me, and it remained that way for a year until I recovered. “
It was effective and effective, as there was no application that allowed her to communicate with her, only with her mobile phone the doctor prescribes the medicine for her and changes it according to what the patient tells.
Two years later, Reham decided to lose weight, but she was a resident of the Fifth Settlement, and her doctor was in the Maadi area, two distant neighborhoods in Cairo separated by at least an hour by car.
“I went the first time, and after the examination I agreed with him on a diet program, and before the visit ended, the secretary told me that they have an application through which I can follow up with the doctor every week on the condition that I have a balance at home, and pay by credit card, and I really preferred that instead,” says Reham. Who covered that distance every week, and it worked well. “
Basic sponsorship model
With the development of “Covid-19” into a pandemic, telemedicine has moved from a modern model to a basic model of care, and usage figures have doubled between 50% to 175% than before the epidemic, as confirmed by a report by “McKinsey & Co”. For data and management consulting.
Contributing to the increase in these rates is that telemedicine is effective for diseases where a physical examination is not necessary, such as “nasal congestion, cough, colds, rashes, and of course mental health counseling and treatment,” according to Sheldon Elman, founder of Medisys Health Group).
How was the experience of those who resorted to telemedicine other than these diseases?
No one has seen like heard
Telemedicine is suitable for minor health problems, but Reham, due to her fear of infection with the Coronavirus, decided to use it with the dentist.
Reham told Al-Jazeera Net, “Several months ago, and in the event of closure due to Corona, one of my pain was very painful and caused me headaches and the inability to sleep or eat. So I contacted my dentist by phone, and he told me that I must visit him in his clinic, but I was very afraid Of infection with Corona and I did not agree. “
Reham asked her doctor for some painkillers, and she lasted for a long time, but the pain did not stop. She said, “I even gave him a video interview, but he could not see my molar, and I sent him a picture of my molar, but it was not working, and after two months of permanent and increasing pain, I decided to visit him to discover an abscess under the molar.”
The situation did not go well either with Ghada Ibrahim, who has been suffering for 7 years with laziness in thyroid gland functions, and requires regular follow-up and analysis every 3 months.
With the start of the pandemic, she contacted her doctor, who advised her to continue the same dose of the usual medicine, but this time without the necessary tests.
After another 3 months, she also preferred a video interview rather than going to him or the lab, and continued with the same amount of drug dose.
But after a while, she began to feel new symptoms, Ghada told Al-Jazeera Net, “I started to feel dizzy and giddy in my eyes, and a rapid heartbeat, and here the doctor asked for analyzes to confirm the dose of the drug, and I did the tests, but I sent him their results via WhatsApp, and he told me to adjust the dose of the drug.”
Reham says that despite what she has been exposed to, she sees a greater risk of contracting corona, and that in the end, she succeeded in reducing the chances of this risk and obtaining a treatment service appropriate to the circumstances.