Many people have shown concern over accessing telemedicine for a wide range of infectious diseases. Before COVID-19, accessing online doctors for infectious diseases seemed an uphill task.
However, there has been a revolutionary shift towards telemedicine during the pandemic, especially for managing COVID-19 and similar infections.
Infectious diseases include all illnesses caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungal pathogens. Such infections may include meningitis, herpes, shingles, AIDS, and the long list goes on.
In this blog, we are going to explore the usage of telehealth in managing infectious diseases and what you can expect during your telehealth visit with an online doctor.
Having said that, let’s dive deep into the online world of infectious disease management!
After the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine practices have blossomed immensely in hospital and clinical settings. Today, patients suffering from different transmissible infectious diseases can easily access online doctors to manage their conditions efficiently.
Whether you need to consult a specialist for recurrent symptoms of COVID-19 or manage your existing condition at home, connecting with an online doctor through telehealth is easy.
However, every telemedicine clinic has certain rules and regulations before they manage a patient with an infectious disease. For example, a patient cannot be treated via telemedicine before informed consent is obtained from the patient, like other telemedicine consultations.
Many studies have been conducted to evaluate the usage of telemedicine for infectious diseases. One recent study concludes that telemedicine for managing infectious disease patients can offer multiple advantages, such as fewer in-person patient visits, reduced transmission of pathogens, and improved patient condition . As a result, the spread of infectious diseases is largely reduced from person to person.
You can access telemedicine for a wide range of infectious diseases, like COVID-19 infection, HIV, AIDS, chicken pox, polio, insects and tick-borne illnesses. In the US, multiple clinics and hospitals offer telemedicine services to their patients to reduce the spread of infectious diseases.
Nevertheless, before you opt for your telehealth provider, you must explore their telehealth options for infectious diseases, as some telehealth services focus on treating conditions like TB or herpes. In contrast, others specialize in helping manage COVID-19 and its related care.
Therefore, before making a choice, you must check with your telehealth provider to ensure they offer the services you need.
The agenda of your telehealth consultation depends on the type of visit you’re having with your doctor. Generally, your telehealth doctor can provide online care in various ways;
- Follow-up consultation:
If you’re suffering from any infectious disease, note that most clinics require an initial in-person appointment, and a follow-up telehealth appointment is recommended by your doctor.
During your follow-up consultation, your doctor might ask you about any new signs or symptoms that you have noticed. Let your doctor know if you notice any unusual signs or if your medicines aren’t relieving your symptoms.
- Prescribing medications:
Your telehealth can also prescribe you medications depending upon the type of infectious disease and its severity. If your symptoms are relieved, your teledoctor will also reduce your medicines or their doses accordingly.
- Medication counseling:
During your online video conference, your telehealth provider offers detailed guidance on the prescribed medications, including their dosage, precautions you need to take during your treatment plan, and potential side effects, if any.
- Address Your Queries:
You can engage with your telemedicine infectious disease doctor about any queries you have and resolve all your doubts regarding your treatment plan. This will help build a personalized approach between you and your teleprovider by promoting effective treatment outcomes for infectious diseases.
- Follow-ups and monitoring:
After your in-person initial assessments, your doctor might recommend follow-up appointments depending on the severity of your disease.
For instance, a telehealth doctor recommends a patient combating bacterial pneumonia a follow-up telemedicine session after he has gone through all the in-person initial assessments to monitor his future health status.
Absolutely! There are many insurance plans that cover telehealth consultations for infectious diseases. But before you proceed with scheduling your appointment, you need to review your health plan first. Additionally, some telemedicine doctors do not accept insurance. Therefore, recheck your insurance coverage with your telehealth provider.
All in all, utilizing telehealth for a wide range of infectious diseases can help you manage your illness efficiently when you’re combating pesky pathogens. While you’re battling against infectious disease, accessing telemedicine will bridge long distances and provide timely interventions and personalized solutions to help you resolve your symptoms.
However, every telehealth provider has their own unique criteria for addressing infectious diseases to ensure personalized and effective care.
Some telehealth providers specialize in helping you manage tuberculosis at home, whereas others offer a comprehensive range of infectious disease management.
Therefore, before you book your telemedicine appointment for infectious diseases, check in with your telehealth doctor.
 Shokri, F., Bahrainian, S., Tajik, F., Rezvani, E., Shariati, A., Nourigheimasi, S., Shahrebabaki, E. S., Ebrahimi, M., Shamoon, F., & Heidary, M. (2023). The potential role of telemedicine in the infectious disease pandemic with an emphasis on COVID‐19: A narrative review. Health Science Reports, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1002/hsr2.1024