What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine was originally developed to reach remote patients who lived in rural areas. Currently, its use has expanded to urban populations where there may be healthcare shortages or to respond to medical emergencies by sharing medical consults and patient health records. Telemedicine uses secure technological platforms, such as video visits or text messaging, to connect the patient with the doctor.
What is the difference between Telemedicine and Telehealth?
The terms “telemedicine” and “telehealth” are often used interchangeably. However, telemedicine typically is a subset of telehealth. Telemedicine refers to the clinical care provided by a doctor, whereas telehealth refers to a broader spectrum of services where technology is used to enhance healthcare, public health and health education, such as text reminders, educational videos, patient portals, online results etc.
Telemedicine should never replace regular exams; however, in times when the patient cannot come into the office, or does not feel well enough to come into the office, telemedicine can be used to deliver care as needed.
Telemedicine and COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
Due to concern of exposing vulnerable populations to the virus, if you are feeling unwell, self-quarantined, immunocompromised or have been exposed to the virus, etc, we are now providing telemedicine services through Facetime, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams or text messaging to help serve the eyecare needs of our patients right from your own home. Examples of symptoms that can be addressed via telemedicine:
- Red eyes
- Tearing, discharge, and/or itchiness of the eyes
- Swollen eyelid
- Eye pain
- Decrease in vision
- Concern for eye infection
- Questions or clarifications about eye medication
- Any other questions or concerns about your eyes that need to be addressed by a doctor