Singer Lionel Richie and politician Jeb Bush have invested in a telemedicine startup called Heal that helps doctors interact with patients using a mobile app-based Uber-type service and digital appointments.
These days, it seems like everyone is trying to figure out how to make doctor appointments more appealing to patients.
We're confident it will happen — but right now, people aren't using telemedicine or in-office appointments for important routine checkups often enough.
The number of primary care visits declined by more than 21% in the second quarter of 2020 compared to previous years. There was also a 50% decline in blood pressure checks and a 37% decline in cholesterol checks.
That means cases of undiagnosed cardiovascular disease may be developing out of sight of doctors and patients.
And who knows what else is being missed?
Don’t let it happen to you. Make an appointment today for a telemedicine, in-office, or combination visit. With masks, social distancing, and other precautions, in-office appointments are safe. But you still need to make the following preparations for your appointment:
• Keep a journal. Record symptoms or concerns so you remember to ask important questions.
• For telemed: Get instructions on taking and sharing your vitals, such as heart rate and blood oxygen.
• For telemed: Ask about monitoring blood pressure at home, sending in daily glucose readings electronically with a smart monitor, and/or using similar devices to share info about atrial fibrillation.
• In person: Get routine blood tests for lipids, inflammation, blood cell, and thyroid levels; kidney and liver function; and more.