Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), the sixth leading cause of death in the US, is a progressive lung disorder that requires frequent hospital visits and critical monitoring by medical experts.
But what if managing COPD doesn’t come with the hassle of waiting rooms and travel expenses? Roll up your sleeves as you’re about to step into a world where your treatment plan for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease unfolds from the comfort of your haven.
By utilizing telehealth for COPD, you cannot only reduce the visits to the emergency room but also manage your symptoms and reduce your exacerbations.
Let’s dig more into the telehealth world of COPD management and what you need to know about getting virtual care for the condition before booking your telehealth COPD appointment.
Can You Get Treatment For COPD from An Online Doctor?
Absolutely, a telehealth provider can treat COPD virtually by providing online consultations, medicine counseling, and prescribing medications, all from the convenience of your device.
Utilizing telehealth for managing COPD is backed by multiple scientific evidence in reputable journals. As seen in one randomized controlled study, early detection, monitoring, and follow-ups through home telehealth programs significantly reduced emergency visits and hospitalizations of COPD patients.
Nevertheless, it’s important to recognize certain constraints when utilizing telehealth for COPD management. For tasks like hands-on examinations or specific diagnostic tests, such as Pulmonary Function Tests, an in-person visit to a healthcare facility becomes necessary.
In these cases, you might need to visit an in-person facility for ongoing monitoring, physical examination, and specific diagnostic tests to understand the underlying cause further.
How Can Telehealth Help COPD Patients?
Telehealth offers people with COPD a wide range of services, from the cozy confines of their home sweet homes. It’s like having a healthcare hub at your fingertips!
Here’s how this impressive technology can help you in managing your COPD at home.
- Online access to pulmonologists: You can connect with a board-certified pulmonologist who can assess your symptoms and recommend further treatment or a self-care plan, depending on your condition.
- Overall management and education: You can easily receive comprehensive guidance on the use of medications and adherence to the treatment plan. You can connect with a telehealth provider online if you have any queries or concerns.
- Telehealth monitoring for COPD: Telehealth providers can monitor and assess your health condition by tracking your vital signs and symptoms, ensuring timely intervention. Integrating telehealth in your life would help you reduce exacerbations of COPD.
- Text alerts with reminders: Some telehealth platforms provide text alerts through push notifications on your phones. If you forget to perform breathing exercises or perhaps check your oxygen saturation levels, the alert notifications will remind you to track your vital signs daily.
- Training for using inhalers: Through virtual sessions, you can also receive inhaler device training in which your doctor can observe your practice and provide real-time feedback on whether you’re using your medical device correctly or not.
- Online follow-ups: Your telehealth provider guides you regarding follow-up consultations online.
For the most part, you can reduce acute exacerbations of COPD at home without in-person visits to a healthcare facility. However, sometimes, you may need to see a doctor if you need a proper initial diagnosis or if you are suffering from additional medical conditions along with COPD.
Can An Online Doctor Prescribe Medication For COPD?
Yes, some telehealth platforms provide the facility to prescribe and refill COPD medications online. However, an online consultation is required so that the doctor can assess your symptoms and medical history and then determine the type of medicine that is best for you.
Multiple medications are used to treat COPD symptoms, considering your medical history and comorbid conditions. After your virtual consultation, your prescription is sent electronically to a nearby pharmacy, and there you have it! All you have to do is pick up your medicines and start your therapy.
How Much Does Telehealth Treatment For COPD Cost?
The cost of telehealth treatment for COPD depends on the telehealth provider. If your insurance covers telehealth, you can also experience free COPD consultations with your teleprovider. However, the cost of telehealth is unpredictable as it varies from location to location.
If your insurance doesn’t cover telehealth, you might have to pay an average of $40 to $90 for a single telehealth consultation.
To know more about telehealth virtual visit costs, read the following blog;
Is Online Treatment For COPD Covered By Insurance?
Yes, most insurance plans cover telehealth consultations for COPD. But you need to check with your health plan first before scheduling a virtual visit. Also, remember that some telehealth providers might not accept insurance. Therefore, check the insurance coverage with your telehealth provider.
How Do I Prepare For A Telehealth COPD Appointment?
To get ready for telehealth COPD treatment with any telehealth provider, make sure that:
- You have the following information handy: current medication list, oxygen levels, exercise plan, or chart.
- Make sure that your cellphone is fully charged and that your microphone and camera are working properly.
- You can note down any allergies or your medical history details that can help the doctor give you a personalized treatment plan.
- Write down any concerns or questions about medications, symptoms, or follow-ups.
What You Can Expect During A Telemedicine Visit For COPD?
During your telehealth COPD visit, your doctor discusses about the following:
- New symptoms or any worsening symptoms
- Whether you had any acute COPD exacerbation or not.
- Discuss your treatment plan according to your clinical condition.
- Guide you about the monitoring tools and ways to track your vital signs. If you’re having a follow-up, then the doctor might check your data from monitoring tools.
- Counsel you about the steps you should take when you experience COPD symptoms.
- Counsel you on the use of inhalers or practice breathing exercises to help you reduce acute exacerbations of COPD.
What To Do If Your COPD Symptoms Worsen?
If you experience severe COPD symptoms, like breathlessness without exertion or severe productive cough with sputum, you might need to visit an in-person facility for a detailed check-up.
Once your doctor has conducted a thorough in-person checkup, a telehealth visit might be feasible for ongoing monitoring and follow-up care, providing a convenient and accessible way to address your COPD symptoms and concerns from your home.
The Bottom Line
In a nutshell, once you’ve nailed that crucial in-person diagnostic checkup for COPD, the path to managing symptoms opens wide through telemedicine. It’s like unlocking a personalized journey to breathe easier, backed by the assurance of medical experts who are there to guide and counsel you at every step.