What is Telemedicine?

By: Cruz Alberto Bernal, M.D.

When you are feeling under the weather or have questions about your health, telemedicine is an option.

Telemedicine enables you to speak with and see your medical provider using an iPhone, iPad, Android, or any computer with a camera and microphone. Through confidential communication technology, you can receive remote clinical services, securely, safely, and in the comfort of your own home, office or wherever you may be.

The term telemedicine refers to the provision of remote clinical services, via two –way communication between the patient and the healthcare provider, using electronic audio and visual means. Using telemedicine, a patient can discuss symptoms, receive a diagnosis and get a prescription from a healthcare provider in real time.

Telemedicine isn’t appropriate for emergency situations like heart attack or stroke. Anything that requires immediate, hands-on care should be handled in person. However, telemedicine is very useful for medical issues such as cold and flu, insect bites, sore throats, diarrhea, pink eye and other common issues.

You may hear the term Telehealth versus Telemedicine. The difference is easy to understand. Telehealth defines a broader scope of remote health care services that includes remote non-clinical services such as texting messages and emails regarding healthcare services and information. Telemedicine specifically refers to remote clinical services such as video chats and discussion between the medical provider and patient.

The need for more accessible healthcare is a driving force behind the growth of telemedicine. Whether a patient lives in a remote area or has a busy schedule that doesn’t allow time to visit a physician, telemedicine can help improve a person’s overall health and well-being.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine visits are quickly becoming a mainstay of healthcare to treat common ailments and to assess if testing for symptoms of the coronavirus is required. With a remote confidential video and communications technology, patients are encouraged to use telemedicine as a practical choice to discuss possible symptoms rather than going to the hospital emergency room.

Seeing your medical provider has never been easier. Telemedicine allows a medical expert to “see” patients quickly, efficient, and without travel by the patient to a clinic or office. See your doctor from the convenience of your home or office over a secure video platform.

Your options for health care are expanding. Telemedicine may be a viable option the next time you come down with a case of the sniffles, sore throat, or other medical ailment that can be treated in a clinic or urgent care. Through telemedicine services, you can receive medical advice and your treatment options, anytime, anywhere. To learn more about telemedicine, please call DHR Health Urgent Care Center at (956) 362-5030 or to see an instructional video on how easy telemedicine is to use, visit the DHR Health Website at www.dhrhealth.com

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