With the advancement of modern technology, even the health sector has been able to integrate it to make life easier and more convenient to patients. With the development, online consultations are created to provide a more accessible medium. This process of using websites to advertise medicines and giving prescription thru the video calling or thru a communication network is called Telemedicine. Through it, doctors and patients can interact and their health is evaluated by online doctors. This in itself is a big step in medicine and modernization. It wouldn’t matter anymore if you are in a vacation in Jakarta, Indonesia or Maldives and your doctor is in California or you would want to order a specific medicine from miles away, consultation and purchase of drugs can now done online or through phone calls.
However, the Peterson Group, a non-profit organization that campaigns against the production, importation and exportation of counterfeit medicines has to lay out the following disadvantages:
• Physical and Mental Factors
Patients who are suffering from visual or hearing impairment are likely to have some difficulties following the information presented in a video consultation.
During a teleconsultation, the images of both the health-care worker and the patient are projected onto a monitor and all interactions between the two parties are indirect. In this manner, it is hard to tell if the doctor we are conversing to is legit as they may be using a fraud background and set up.
• Inability to perform the whole consultation
A video consultation is limited by the fact that the entire physical examination cannot be carried out over a video link. This particularly applies to examinations where palpation is an important component. In such cases, the specialist has to rely on the findings of another health-care worker, whose examination of the patient they have witnessed and, in practice, this often seems to be satisfactory.
• Unguaranteed Prescription
Since the findings are not absolute as the findings are merely based on the patients understanding of his ailment and without the physical examinations, prescriptions given may also be not appropriate for the ailment.
The role of telemedicine is indeed a good breakthrough to bridge the gap between people and good access to proper medication and consultation but the risks remains to exist as well added to the fact that the other physicians who do not have the means to procure such equipment to perform this kind of consultation is overwhelming. Complaints are of course also emerging as to how this method can help. Some even states that this, in a way can also be a work of laziness. Given the fact that it is somehow contributing, everyone hopes that it can be used in a good manner.