When to consult a physician online?

Most of us have been taught what to do in an emergency situation. If there’s an urgent medical concern, we call an ambulance.

But what do you do when you need non-urgent care?

Many would agree you should make an appointment to see a doctor. You might even get lucky and find a free 4 pm slot in your doctor’s schedule, though this would mean having to skip work. There’s another option, 8 in the morning, so you’d be fine work-wise, but someone else would have to take kids to school. But wouldn’t it make more sense to leave it till the end of the week, just 4 days later, when there are better time slots? Or, you could always take a risk and go without an appointment, hoping to get in, if the queue is not too long. You should think about it… There’s also a chance you don’t even need medical assistance—maybe just give it a week and the problem will go away on its own?

The fact is that we often postpone a visit to a doctor because our lives are so busy it’s hard to free up a couple of hours. So many things and people depend on you, and you just can’t let them down. We know how it feels only too well, so it’s high time for virtual care—you can now consult a doctor online making a video call or using text chat.

Today, our smartphones have a great many features that, if used intelligently, can help us not only communicate with friends and colleagues, but also simplify important tasks, including taking care of our health.

Let’s take a look at some scenarios where one can benefit from virtual care:

Imagine a fun weekend—a series of parties and a barbecue to wrap it up. So, by the end of Sunday you are feeling happy and tired, but also sick to your stomach. Your usual digestives don’t seem to help, tomorrow promises to be another difficult day, and you have lots to do around the house. In a situation like this, a quick online advice from a physician may be just what you need to regain control—a few tips can help you relieve the pain, and if not, you’ll know you have to see a doctor in person without any delay, because it could be dangerous. During a virtual visit you would receive clear instructions to make it much easier for you to deal with the situation.

Here’s another scenario. You’ve had this headache since morning, as if anticipating a weather change. But the evening comes and the weather is fine, while you are most certainly not—your head hurts really bad. You take a painkiller and it gets you through the night, but the following morning the pain returns. You don’t want to keep suffering through the weekend, but how do you know if it’s serious? People often have headaches for different reasons, and they don’t see a doctor each time it happens. This is a good example of when you could consult a physician online to stop worrying and understand what you should do.

Online health advice can help in many situations. Each of you could probably think of several examples. Whatever the scenario, you should always remember that if you have a health problem, the right thing to do is to consult a specialist as soon as you can. In case you can’t figure out how serious it is, what could be better than a video call with a doctor using a mobile app? This might be the next best thing on your smartphone after Instagram.

Oh, wait, maybe checking Instagram for an hour before bed is the reason you don’t sleep well and get those headaches?

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