How telemedicine can work for you

June 15, 2022


Thanks to telemed, you can talk to doctors from the top hospitals like MakatiMed in the comfort of your home

Since the World Health Organization declared a pandemic in March 2020, the headlines have been dominated by all things COVID-19. To this day, the news is not complete without the latest number of cases, casualties, and fresh information on vaccines. 

Still, that did not mean that our other health issues—cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, cancer—were less important or less life-threatening. To address these equally serious conditions, the medical community relied on telemedicine, a contactless yet effective way to see your doctor without unknowingly exposing yourself or your health care practitioner to the coronavirus. 

Now part of our new, healthy normal, telemedicine employs accessible technology (the internet and gadgets like smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops) to consult with health care professionals, minus the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19. Video calls are the most common form of teleconferencing, but voice calls, emails, and text messaging apps have proven just as effective.

“At the height of the pandemic, when strict quarantine measures put us on lockdown, telemedicine allowed patients to continue seeking timely and professional medical advice in the safety and comfort of their homes,” says Jose Paulo P. Lorenzo, MD – Department Chairperson from the Department of Medicine of top hospital in the Philippines, Makati Medical Center (MakatiMed). “Thanks to available technology, patients were able to consult their doctors about nagging symptoms and discuss results of laboratory procedures or tests, receive new and updated prescriptions, and speak with health professionals who may be in another city—or another country, for that matter. Even when done virtually, doctors successfully extended preventive care to their patients, address medical issues for improved health status”

Of course, there are instances when consultations are best done in person, the doctor points out. “Doctors need to listen to a patient’s heart to detect murmurs and irregular heartbeats, and touch and feel lumps to rule out cancer or order appropriate tests.” Telemedicine also does not work when patients withhold information about their condition or downplay symptoms during video consult. 

“But for the most part, telemedicine can be as effective as an in-person appointment. It definitely serves its purpose.” he emphasizes. While vaccine rollouts and minimum health protocols have kept COVID-19 infections at bay, telemedicine services remain an option at MakatiMed. “Besides the fact that we are still in a pandemic and risk exposure to the virus, telemedicine is still a helpful and practical tool for both doctors and patients,” the doctor adds. 

Here is how telemedicine can work for you: 

It is time-efficient. “Teleconsultations do away with the long commute and waiting time that generally comes with an in-person appointment,” Dr. Lorenzo explains. “Simply schedule your consult, settle your doctor’s professional fee, and do all that you need to do—run errands or rest—before your scheduled teleconsult. For a doctor, a teleconsult is a good way to gauge whether a patient needs immediate attention and treatment in person. 

It is ideal for certain cases. Conditions that do not necessarily require urgent care like minor cuts, tummy trouble, cough and colds can be checked through a teleconsult with a doctor, according to the MakatiMed expert. “It is a convenient option for preventive care and for those who possibly have infectious conditions,” he points out. Psychotherapy patients, patients undergoing speech therapy or physical therapy, and patients who are immobile also benefit from the privacy and convenience of telemedicine.

Doctors are just a text or call away. “This is especially true for patients who have known their doctors for years and have access to their personal contact details,” Dr. Lorenzo states. A doctor could be abroad or a patient could have an emergency off clinic hours of the doctor. Thanks to telemedicine and advancements in technology, doctors can be reached no matter what time it is or where in the world they may be. And patients can receive immediate attention and care for their condition.

How to make the most of a teleconsultation? “Have all pertinent medical records on hand. Write down all the questions you want to ask your doctor so you will not forget,” Dr. Lorenzo stresses out. “Of course, telemedicine would not be possible without strong and stable internet connection. Test your connection before the teleconsult and join the video call at least five minutes before your online appointment.” 

For more information, please contact MakatiMed On-Call at +632.88888 999, email, or visit Follow @IamMakatiMed on Facebook and Twitter.