Understanding digital healthcare
By Zia Sherrell
Online services are transforming our lives. There’s an infinite choice of services that you can enjoy now, from communication, shopping and entertainment to education and healthcare, all from the convenience of your home.
Digital healthcare is becoming more widespread, seeing many doctors and patients adapt to virtual appointments. Thanks to new video technology, you can now speak to qualified, reputable doctors without having to travel to a surgery.
Here’s why taking your next doctor’s visit by video could benefit you.
- For your own convenience
Life can be hectic, and it’s stressful trying to fit everything into a schedule. If you have children, it can also be challenging to take them to the surgery or find childcare. But with virtual GPs, you’re in control of your healthcare and you can fit in appointments around your life.
Using a virtual GP app like Livi simplifies the entire process of making appointments. Simply download the Livi app to your phone or tablet and sign up, choosing a time most convenient to you.
What’s more, Livi GPs are available seven days a week, and outside of usual practice hours. Consultations are available in minutes, or you can book up to seven days ahead. And parents can add children to their account, so little ones can also benefit when they’re unwell.
- To get medical advice quickly
It can be tempting to delay medical appointments and ignore that ache, pain or worry. But if you’re experiencing troubling health symptoms, you shouldn’t wait to get them checked out – whether you have a long-term health condition or an unusual new symptom.
During a video consultation with your doctor, you’ll discuss your symptoms, so you may want to write them down beforehand to ensure you don’t miss any points. The doctor can then set your mind at rest and recommend treatment, write a prescription or refer you to a specialist, if that’s what you need.
- To avoid spreading or catching germs
In the wake of global and regional lockdowns, we all know that staying home can help reduce the spread of illnesses like the flu, colds, and of course, COVID-19.
With online doctor services, you don’t have to worry about going to the surgery, tackling public transport or spending time in waiting rooms. By speaking to a GP on video, you’re safe and comfortable at home, avoiding exposure to viruses and germs.
- To get a prescription the same day
Just as they would during a face-to-face appointment, an online GP can prescribe medication to be sent to your local pharmacy. This is really handy if you need relief from painful or unpleasant symptoms quickly, without going to a GP practice.
If you see a doctor through the Livi app, you’ll get your prescription sent to a pharmacy near you, usually within hours.
- To have easy access to healthcare
Getting an appointment at your local doctor’s surgery is not always simple. But with a video GP service you could get an appointment and see a doctor within minutes, even on evenings and weekends.
On the Livi platform, you can consent to give GPs access to your NHS health record so they can provide an informed, in-depth diagnosis based on your history – and you can even send through photos to help with the diagnoses. Anyone in the UK can use Livi as a private patient but if your GP practice has partnered with the service, it’s available free of charge.