Remote consultation, otherwise known as telemedicine is the practice of medicine at a distance – instead of being physically present in a clinician’s consulting room, a patient and their carer can communicate from where they want to be – typically at the patient’s home – with the clinician. The difference between health monitoring as described, is that in health monitoring, the readings are looked at by a clinician sometime after they were taken (what is technically called ‘asynchronous communication’), whereas telemedicine is ‘synchronous’ in that doctor and patient communicate interactively, in real time.
Remote consultation offers significant advantages for carers (and patients) including:
- No need to travel/take significant time out of work
- Typically faster clinical attention
- Easier to record the event
- Clinicians can check more easily through short monitoring consultations.
Skype is becoming the standard tool for many consultations with GPs although the telephone has been used successfully for over 100 years. Carers wanting to use remote consultation should first aproach their GP surgery. If it is not offered, perhaps another practice in the area can offer it? If not vailable at all, the following are examples of private suppliers that can help:
- Babylon Health is an online GP service increasingly using AI in place of humans
- Dr Morton’s is an online GP service that provides “direct speedy access to experienced UK doctors for inexpensive confidential reassurance or advice”
- Dr Now is an online GP service combined with an online pharmacy
- Ieso provides online one-to-one psychological care
- Lloyds Pharmacy has an online doctor service
- Push Doctor claims to be “the UK’s number 1 online doctor”