For seniors unable to leave their homes, a simple trip to the doctor for a blood pressure check might as well be Mount Everest. But new advances in medical technology may make in-person doctor check-ups a thing of the past.
Healthcare systems across the country are starting to adopt virtual doctor visits—a way for patients to talk with a doctor about non-emergency medical issues from the comfort of their homes. National retailer Walgreens has even joined in the virtual revolution, offering physician chats over sore throats, or infections directly from an app on your phone.
Convenient and affordable (even some insurance providers cover the already low costs of virtual doctor visits), these new services are not only offering individuals the opportunity to skip the waiting room, they are revolutionizing health care for seniors, especially those who have difficulties leaving their homes.
Frequent check-ups are a necessity for individuals suffering from chronic conditions like heart disease. But for the estimated 42.4 million Americans over the age of 60 who suffer from heart disease, it may not be so easy to get to those check ups. Virtual doctor visits may ease headaches for seniors and relieve pressure from their all-too-busy caregivers.
Beyond the visits, health care providers are now offering machines that can virtually collect vital signs like weight, blood pressure and temperature and transmit them to health care professionals for analysis.
Tabitha’s telemonitoring service offers seniors the ability to capture their vital signs from the comfort of their home. Professionals are sent the data and can quickly review and check for any warning signs. For seniors with heart disease, a sudden change in weight or blood pressure can signal a heart attack is on its way. Early detection can mean life-or-death.
Getting patients on-board and educated about virtual medical services is still an uphill battle as many use phone apps and other technology that may be foreign to seniors. But it’s the wave of the future, with the potential to rock the world of senior health care.