Staying Healthy

10 things to do: Before and During an Online Doctor Consultation

While digital health is stretching its services to the remote corners of the nations, we as individuals must be prepared to embrace it warmly and make use of it in a way that benefits us.

Digital health care has started redefining the healthcare sector of India. Recent surveys on teleconsultations in India claim many people are already using telemedicine. And the numbers are predicted to grow in the upcoming years, which is promising.

Despite its presence even before the Covid-19 pandemic, digital healthcare services like online doctor consultations, online pharmacies, mobile diagnostics have seen a sharp surge only during the first two pandemic waves. The reason is, they helped people access specialist consultations, GP consultations, or any primary care almost instantly with zero contagion risk. Tele-medicine has begun bridging the gaps in India’s health care.

On the other hand, Artificial Intelligence propelling digital health to a place where people get individualised care. Brands like Resolute already have brought interesting features to tele-health such as 24/7 care, a personalised approach to care, care for an entire family under one roof, doctor and specialist consultations, and much more, unified in a single platform.

While digital health is stretching its services to the remote corners of the nations, we as individuals must be prepared to embrace it warmly and make use of it in a way that benefits us. This five minutes read is all about that. Here is a simple guide to help you consult a doctor online and get the most out of the appointment.

Here is a simple and effective guide for you to start with online doctor consultation.

Things to do Before Online Consultation:

An appointment note:

A study by Beckman and Frankel claims that, on average, it takes only 18 seconds for a busy doctor to cut in and start asking questions and jump to prescribing medications before the patients can finish unraveling their concerns. Though the 18-second rule is not so prominent in tele-health it is still a concern as it tricks the patients into not conveying their symptoms completely. A simple way to overcome this hurdle is by writing down your symptoms well before the doctor's appointment.

Step-1: Write down your symptoms from their emergence on a piece of paper/a diary/smartphone note.

Step-2: Read out all the symptoms to the doctors so you will be talking enough.

Step-3: Even if you are interrupted in the middle, you can resume explaining your symptoms again, getting the points from your notes.

Find a Quiet and Bright Spot:

Online consultations won’t work for you unless you do that from a quiet and bright place. That’s a little hard to find, but it would be better if you find one. It is necessary to convey your symptoms and concerns properly over a video call. So the conversation must be clear and precise, at least to your conscience. Any external noise or disturbance would result in an unsatisfied appointment for both ends.

Step:1 Find a quiet and bright spot to help the doctor see you clearly

Step:2 Make yourself comfortable.

Step:3 Calm your mind

Set up your devices:

Unlike doctor consultations in a doctor’s office, online consultations involve audio and video components to connect with a doctor. You can sort it out with a smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop. And it will be helpful if you have a stable internet connection to keep the consultation uninterrupted. Buy a digital health service that includes doctor consultation so it would be easier for you to find authentic healthcare experts and a secure communication portal for consultations.

Know your doctor:

Not all relationships should always be blind. Particularly when you are considering an online doctor appointment, it is necessary to know the basic details of the doctor assigned to you. Consider looking at the doctor's years of service, specification, and service quality. Almost every authentic digital health service providers allow their clients to choose the doctors they want to consult with.

Keep your medical devices close:

As you are not in a clinic, the doctor can't check your vitals in person. The best possible option is to trust medical devices like a digital thermometer, digital BP monitor, digital weighing scale, and sensors like SpO2 watches. You can always record your vitals before the doctor's appointment or when the doctor asks to do during the consultation.

Step-1: Gather all the medical devices you have with you and keep them close during the session.

Step-2: Record your vitals before the session and keep the record

Step-3: Record your vitals during the session if your doctor asks you to do so

Things to do during the online consultation:

Share all your symptoms:

Honesty is the foundation for quality healthcare. Inaccurate or partial information while consulting a doctor may lead to inappropriate diagnosis, symptoms misinterpretation, or overlooked warning. These will result in inappropriate treatment.

Step-1: It is ok not to exaggerate or downplay your symptoms.

Step-2: No embarrassment will occur by sharing your exact symptoms with the doctor.

Step-3: In contrast, you will receive the precise care you need for your concern by being straight and simple.

Share your current lifestyle and medical history:

Forget the 18-second rule we were talking about; doctors always wanted to know your current lifestyle and medical history. Sharing your habits, diet, daily routine, allergies (if any), your past medical conditions, how you recovered, and your current medications helps a doctor to find out the root cause of your current symptoms. So he will come up with a precise medication plan and treatments personalized for you.

Your doctor may ask direct questions to know more about your lifestyle, so it is better to keep all the necessary details, records to show him during the consultation.

Step-1: Make notes of your past health conditions (if any) and your current lifestyle.

Step-2: Add the medications and treatments you received for your conditions

Step-3: Keep the records and prescribed medications at reach

Step-4: Share or answer when your doctor asks for it

Sometimes, you don’t want to bother about all these steps if you have the Resolute app. It will create a longitudinal health journey comprised of your entire medical history along with your lifestyle changes. The doctor you are consulting with will have access to those records only through the secured portal. It’ll simplify everything you were worrying about moments ago.

Prepare questions to ask:

There is no queue waiting outside to hit the doctor back to back during online consultations. You get a doctor for you and your concerns. So you got all the time in the world. You can get the most out of the appointment by dropping your doubts as questions to the doctor.

Step-1: Listen to the doctor and take notes of it.

Step-2: Write down any question that comes up in your mind

Step-3: Ask your doubts at the end of the session and write down the answers given by the doctor

Be prepared for physical treatment:

Though you are sitting miles away from your doctor, he is capable of sensing possible future health conditions based on your symptoms. If he finds one, he will suggest you present for physical diagnosis and further treatment.

Not for Emergency:

Online doctors consultations are helpful today as it helps access primary and preventive care by avoiding travel, long queues, excess medical expenditure, and risk of infection. That is great, but tele-health is not a choice for emergencies. In an emergency circumstance, it is best to call emergency health services for better care.


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