Remote Wellness and Telehealth is a rapidly growing industry with no signs of slowing down. Harvard Health1 defines telehealth “as the delivery of health care services at a distance through the use of technology. It can include everything from conducting medical visits over the computer, to monitoring patients’ vital signs remotely.” Navigating all the uses in this technology-driven field can be a tall task. We’ll explore the extensive varieties, pros, and cons to help you get the most out of these advanced features.

Numerous Uses and Varieties:

Virtual Appointments. Meet with a physician virtually using your phone, tablet, or computer for non-emergent health concerns or questions.

Share Messages and Data. Share information back and forth with your health provider. They can send test results, diagnoses, and treatment plans. You can instantly respond with questions, current medical history lists, or other pertinent information.

Remote Monitoring. Some medical tests have the option of remote monitoring. Participate from the comfort of your home while practitioners can observe your results in real time.

Virtual Counseling and Therapy. Many licensed counselors and therapists are now available for virtual consultations. They can often be reached through apps, messaging, phone calls, and video calls, making mental health treatment more accessible.

Nutrition Counseling. Meet virtually with a registered dietitian for nutrition information and plans personalized to your individual needs or condition management.

Wellness Coaching. Talk with a certified professional for strategy formation, behavior change, and habit-building toward your personal health and wellness goals.

Virtual Personal Training and Group Fitness Classes. Meet virtually with a certified personal trainer or join an online group fitness class to maximize your exercise routine without going to a gym.


Pros and Cons

Remote wellness and telehealth bring many benefits to healthcare. Convenience is one of the top advantages because you can easily share information and speak with healthcare professionals without leaving your home or spending extra time in a waiting room. It makes healthcare more accessible for those who live in rural areas, have jampacked schedules, don’t have easy access to transportation, or have a difficult time leaving home. Telehealth opens more opportunities for preventive or ongoing care for those who might feel nervous about meeting with someone in person or leaving the comfort of their home. This ease allows for more participation in mental healthcare as well. Messaging between patient and practitioner brings more dialogue around diagnoses, treatment, questions, and continued care. This real-time communication also leads to easier coordination of patient care between providers.

While the benefits are numerous, there are a few drawbacks to be aware of when it comes to telehealth. Keep in mind that not every visit or diagnosis can be virtual. Emergent situations, specific testing, and some continued care will still need to be in person. It’s also important to note that medication compliance, treatment, and plan adherence can be more successful when completed in person. Often, we’re more likely to stick to a treatment plan whenever we meet in person and face-to-face with our physician or medical professional.

As you weigh the pros and cons of remote wellness and telehealth, determine your needs and interests. What will you most likely stick to? Is this an emergency or not? How quickly do I need to talk to someone? Do I need to meet with someone face-to-face, or would a quick message help me stay on track? Telehealth will not fully replace in-person healthcare, but it can be an asset when used correctly to help you make the most of your health and wellness.

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