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Health care at your fingertips with telemedicine

Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke, according to the CDC. Since February is American Heart Month, I wanted to give you a few tips on how wireless devices can improve lives by reducing in-person trips to the doctor’s office, save money, and keep vital health and wellness data at your fingertips.

Whether you are self-tracking your health activities or need to have valuable health information available in an emergency, today’s mobile devices along with health and wellness apps can help monitor your health and be used in emergencies.

health app

Smartphones and health tracking

  • According to a recent U.S. Cellular survey 34 percent of smartphone users have used a phone to help lose weight or improve their health, of those, 66 percent have used an app to keep track of exercise or other fitness activities.
  • Smartphones can play a vital role in getting medical attention within one hour of the onset of cardiac symptoms, as recommended by the Cleveland Clinic.
  • You can store personal medical information on your smartphone that family or medical personnel can access during an emergency.

Telemedicine and its benefits

  • Telemedicine makes health care more efficient by enabling practitioners to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients remotely using technology made available through a reliable wireless network like the high speed/4G LTE network available at U.S. Cellular.
  • It’s easy to contact trained medical professionals from home or work.
  • It’s convenient for people who might have difficulties coming into a physician’s office because of their remote location, busy schedules, mobility problems or other challenges.
  • It offers people instant, real-time medical consultations.
  • It saves time and money.
  • Telemedicine is meant to enhance – not replace – in-person physician visits, which are still recommended for regular care, such as physical exams. Telemedicine is used to treat minor ailments like cold symptoms, which account for nearly a quarter of office visits to primary care doctors and should not be used in emergency situations.

A Pew Research Center survey found that one in three American adults have gone online to research a medical condition. Now, people can use their mobile devices to “virtually” connect to a doctor to discuss their health symptoms, ask questions and learn more about treatment options. These virtual MDs can also prescribe medicine.

I’ve actually used the Doctor on Demand app myself and found it to be quite useful for those times you don’t want to run all the way to a clinic, yet still need professional answers.

Before using telemedicine:

Ask your Primary Care Physician. Discuss your options with your primary care physician to get their recommendations and see if they already have a relationship with a telemedicine provider.

Check your insurance.  Determine whether your insurance provider covers telemedicine and if there are any specifications surrounding this coverage.

Do your research.  Third-party medical rating service websites like vitals.com and NCQA.org provide valuable research on various telemedicine practitioners and services.


So tell us…

Have you ever used telemedicine? Would you consider using an app to reach a real, live doctor?




Image credit: Jason Howie, Flickr

Thanks to U.S. Cellular for sponsoring this post.


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26 Responses to Health care at your fingertips with telemedicine

  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) February 24, 2015 at 10:56 am #

    What a great option for people who can’t get out of the house. This is wicked convenient.

  2. Anne-Marie @ This Mama Cooks! On a Diet February 24, 2015 at 11:08 am #

    This is very interesting and certainly the wave of the future. It would come in handy to answer those little questions that you don’t need a full visit for. Or to help you decide if you do need to come in or not.
    Anne-Marie @ This Mama Cooks! On a Diet recently posted…Take a walk through the organic Marketside at WalmartMy Profile

  3. Courtney February 24, 2015 at 11:28 am #

    This is a great idea. I love the idea of getting medical advice without having to leave the house. Thanks for sharing this!
    Courtney recently posted…Big Hero 6: Interview With the Voices of Hiro & Tadashi #BigHero6BloggersMy Profile

  4. Melissa Pezza February 24, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

    This is such a great idea. Going out is terrible when you’re already feeling sick and horrible. Thanks!
    Melissa Pezza recently posted…Big Hero 6- My Interview with Ryan Potter & Daniel Henney (Hiro/Tadashi)!My Profile

  5. Shauna February 24, 2015 at 1:06 pm #

    This sounds really cool. I know there are many times I need to see the doctor but just can’t get away, this would be so much easier.

  6. Dawn February 24, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

    That’s really cool! I love that they accept insurance. Some of these doctor apps don’t.
    Dawn recently posted…Chicken & Butternut Squash Slow Cooker RecipeMy Profile

  7. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle February 24, 2015 at 2:21 pm #

    This is pure genius. When I’m sick, the last thing I want to do is drag myself out of bed and drive to the doctor’s office.
    Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle recently posted…Beautiful Puerto Rico is Calling!My Profile

  8. Jennifer Sikora February 24, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

    They accept insurance as well? That is so cool!
    Jennifer Sikora recently posted…February 2015 Stitch FixMy Profile

  9. Meagan February 24, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

    How cool is this app? I need to use something like this next time I take my son to the doctors!

  10. Aimee Smith February 24, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

    I think this is a great idea. I would use it just to avoid the extra germs at the doctors office.
    Aimee Smith recently posted…Sorry You Caught a Bug Survival Kit + Free PrintableMy Profile

  11. Elizabeth @ Being MVP February 24, 2015 at 4:09 pm #

    What a neat app! Definitely a plus that insurance may cover it.
    Elizabeth @ Being MVP recently posted…Janiebee Quilted Nap Mat + #GiveawayMy Profile

  12. Dawn McAlexander February 24, 2015 at 6:47 pm #

    My dad died of a heart attack in his 40s. I will definitely keep this in mind.
    Dawn McAlexander recently posted…Got Snow? Warm Up With This Irish Guinness Beef Stew RecipeMy Profile

  13. Krista Blackburn February 24, 2015 at 6:52 pm #

    It’s definitely important to take care of your health problems. I didn’t know it was heart health month. 🙂
    Krista Blackburn recently posted…Lemon Vanilla Cake PopsMy Profile

  14. Felissa @ Two Little Cavaliers February 24, 2015 at 6:54 pm #

    It’s sad that so many people have diseases and health issues that go unchecked. Thanks for all of the information about heart health.
    Felissa @ Two Little Cavaliers recently posted…Inspire Us Tuesdays – Spring Cleaning Tips and TricksMy Profile

  15. Stacey - Travel Blogger February 24, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

    I like the idea of telemedicine. But yet, people definitely need to do their research.
    Stacey – Travel Blogger recently posted…Cinderella 2015 Costumes: Girls Dresses, Shoes & JewelryMy Profile

  16. Dee Mauser February 24, 2015 at 7:49 pm #

    I’ve never heard of this before but because my hubby is dealing with uncontrolled high blood pressure, it’s certainly something we need to look into.

  17. valerie g February 24, 2015 at 7:55 pm #

    that looks like an awesome app. I love the fact that they take insurance. I will have to check it out to see if mine is covered. very cool!!

  18. Liz Mays February 24, 2015 at 8:26 pm #

    Telemedicine is just too convenient. I think I could definitely see myself using technology to contact a doctor in the future.
    Liz Mays recently posted…Mexi-Mac Tostada BowlsMy Profile

  19. Amber Edwards February 24, 2015 at 8:59 pm #

    I love the idea that even if you can’t get into the Dr Visit, you can still get your medical questions answered. That would be such a great help to busy moms everywhere.
    Amber Edwards recently posted…Easy and Delicious Dips for #GameTimeGrubMy Profile

  20. Autumn @Mamachallenge February 24, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

    This is such a great idea! Sometimes, it is not worth dragging yourself and your children to the doctor’s office for a simple question.

  21. Amy Desrosiers February 25, 2015 at 10:24 am #

    I could see myself using this for minor visits. I think it is super cool, and goes to show how we are advancing as a society.

  22. Maria February 25, 2015 at 11:46 am #

    While I have never heard of this before, I would definitely use it. And, if satisfied, I would absolutely recommend it. Great idea!
    Maria recently posted…Pampers Daylight Savings Time + GiveawayMy Profile

  23. lisa February 25, 2015 at 11:53 am #

    This is very convenient, especially for homebound people!
    lisa recently posted…Big Hero 6 Ryan Potter and Daniel Henney Interview #McFarlandUSAEvent #BigHero6BloggersMy Profile

  24. Pamela :: Still Dating My Spouse February 26, 2015 at 12:00 am #

    This is such a needed app/service. I know there are times I would like to get some info from a doctor/nurse instead of googling the wrong info

  25. OurFamilyWorld February 27, 2015 at 8:04 pm #

    I love my fitness apps. I think every one needs a good fitness ap.
    OurFamilyWorld recently posted…Money Tips to Give Your Finances a MakeoverMy Profile

  26. Chrysa April 14, 2015 at 7:45 pm #

    This looks like it could be such a helpful service. Sometimes it is difficult or just not convenient to get to the doctor.

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