How telemedicine can increase access to care

By Peter Swaniker

Telemedicine has grown remarkably since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic — and it’s given us another opportunity to disrupt the healthcare industry.

Also known as telehealth or virtual medicine, telemedicine allows you to access medical services remotely. When the coronavirus led to a worldwide lockdown, virtual medicine expanded to play a role in many medical fields, including psychiatry and even neurosurgery. (Yes, you read that correctly.)

Globally, telemedicine is expected to grow into a nearly $400 billion industry by 2030, compared to $70.4 billion in 2021. In other words, it’s here to stay, and it’ll likely be part of more and more of your doctor’s visits in the years to come.

But right now, guidance and care for people infected with the coronavirus remains one of the simplest yet most practical uses of telehealth. A virtual visit with a healthcare provider is the best thing you can do for yourself after getting a positive COVID-19 test.

That’s why Worksite Labs now offers virtual appointments for anyone who tests with us. This new service takes us a step further on our mission to provide customer-centered care where and when it’s needed. By adding it to our highly convenient and trustworthy COVID-19 testing services, Worksite Labs has become your one-stop shop for pandemic health needs.

Augmenting our quality testing experience

Healthcare professionals like ours know enough about COVID-19 now to give you sound advice after a positive test without a hands-on examination. Most symptoms are self-evident, so you and an expert can navigate them with a simple conversation. Odds are, nobody needs to scan your vitals or check your pulse to see how you stand coronavirus-wise.

Of course, the best telemedicine is only as good as the tech that supports it. We’ve integrated a user-friendly scheduling platform into our existing customer portal so that you can seamlessly book a virtual chat with one of our experts. If you test with Worksite Labs and come up positive, we give you the option to schedule a virtual appointment straightaway. A few taps on your phone will get you on your way to personalized support from a care provider on staff.

Customers aren’t limited to just one follow-up appointment. If your symptoms worsen or you develop further concerns about your infection, you can book a follow-up to the follow-up, and so on. No matter how many virtual sessions you need to help you successfully navigate COVID-19, we’re here for you.

And you don’t have to test positive to gain access to this service. All existing Worksite Labs customers can book an appointment to discuss their COVID-19 concerns.

Personalized care that keeps you moving

It’s always a good idea to discuss next steps with a professional when you encounter a medical issue. That’s why telemedicine has become so widely adopted in the stay-at-home era — and why it’s so helpful for COVID-19 patients. Getting the guidance you need from home lets you kickstart your recovery the right way by self-isolating and protecting others.

Our front-line staff has gotten to know a lot about COVID-19 in two years of providing testing services. They have a wealth of knowledge including common symptoms, unique needs for those with underlying conditions and the best treatment options for each kind of patient. By analyzing your medical background and symptoms, they help you deduce the best course of action to manage an infection.

In a face-to-face, synchronous setting like a videoconference or phone call, our care providers answer your questions thoroughly and on the spot. You don’t need to waste time scouring the web for tidbits that apply to your unique situation or seeking advice from loved ones — who, while well-intentioned, might not know your best course of action. Further, our physicians can write anyone who’s tested positive a prescription for COVID-19 medications.

Even in healthy patients, the effects of COVID-19 can fluctuate or worsen over time. A chat with a our healthcare professionals is handy for when your symptoms take an unexpected turn or last longer than you expected. We’ll tell you how to modify your self-treatment measures or even when to take a trip to the hospital.

(You might be wondering, “What about my privacy?” All the platforms we use were built to be HIPAA compliant. This means all your electronic protected health information [e-PHI] remains confidential and guarded from potential cyberthreats. Our tech experts have leveraged tools to ensure that all your personal information is solidly encrypted, as well as your communications with our healthcare providers. And we have processes in place that ensure the only Worksite Labs staff member who has access to your info is the healthcare expert you speak to directly.)

A peek into your healthcare future

Virtual medicine technology is already more advanced than many realize. These telehealth appointments offer a window into what your typical checkup or healthcare session might look like in a few short years.

Due to the pandemic, many doctor’s appointments, checkups and other medical routines pivoted to a virtual environment in spring 2020. Now, more than three fourths of Americans plan to use telehealth in some capacity going forward, compared to only 11% of those who had used it before COVID-19.

Telemedicine might soon become a new standard in patient care, thanks to rapid advances in patient monitoring technology. Medical devices and even consumer gadgets like smartwatches become more adept every day at tracking patients’ biometric data and vital signs.

Many physical examinations and routines are largely feasible over the internet today. As of last year, it also accounts for about half of psychiatric visits and roughly one-third of substance use disorder treatments. Even skin, abdominal, neurological, musculoskeletal, and ear, nose and throat exams can be conducted via telehealth.

We’re constantly evolving to meet the country’s ever-changing healthcare needs, with more telemedicine options sure to become available down the road. Worksite Labs customers have access to a customer-first platform that empowers them to take control of their healthcare. And as our repertoire of telehealth services grows, you’ll want to be a part of it.

Click here to book a telemedicine appointment today.

Peter Swaniker is chief technology officer of Worksite Labs.

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