What is Virtual Care?

by | Dec 21, 2021

Since we have adapted to a stay-at-home lifestyle, there are some services that might want to reconsider a remote friendly service option. Our own home provides the comfort, safety, and convenience of whatever we do. So, it would make sense for businesses to cater towards the customers’ liking. And now that we are accustoming ourselves to the pandemic, virtual care has caught the interest of many.  

Let’s start with what virtual care is. Virtual care is remote interaction between patient and practice in order to optimize patient care. This term is often mixed with other remote communication terms for patient care purposes, such as telehealth, digital health, and telemedicine. Though each term has specific variations within their definitions, we will be focusing on virtual care as it is the overarching theme of providing patient care remotely. Virtual care includes a plethora of services, such as checking up on a patient’s condition, setting up their next appointment, or answering any questions they may have about an upcoming procedure.

Benefits of Virtual Care

For those who are still undecided on whether they prefer in-person care or virtual care, here are a few advantages to virtual care: 

  • Convenience and comfort of staying in your own home or office 
  • Lower appointment costs 
  • Accessibility anywhere you are 

Instead of driving down to your appointment, simply get out of bed and you will be ready to meet with your doctor. The advantage of not having to drive to and from your doctor’s office and using up gas is favorable, especially for the environment. You can save money on gas and appointments because virtual care is significantly cheaper than most in-person care. One in-person visit can be billed at around $150 or more, while virtual care can bring the price down to less than $50. So not only is virtual care beneficial and cost effective, but it is also universally accessible because your virtual care appointment can be held anywhere a smart phone or laptop works.  

Virtual Care Today 

The pandemic has allowed us to explore the possibilities available while at home, including virtual care. According to the CDC, there has been a 154% increase in virtual care visits during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic, virtual care visits were not as popular simply because they were different from what people were used to. We are familiar with visiting our doctor in-person and discussing our health. But once the pandemic hit, people have realized that visiting our doctor over a web conferencing platform has the same effect as visiting in-person. In fact, it may be easier to talk to the doctor through a virtual platform since people are in a comfortable and safe space to talk about their health.  

The pandemic has been dragging on for some time now, so people are trying to bring back their old routines to regain some sense of normalcy. As a result, virtual care usage has started to decline across the nation. While taking a closer look into the impact of virtual care, the CDC has found that different regions across the nation use virtual care on varying levels. The South has the lowest virtual care visits compared to the North and Northeast. In addition, rural areas are reported to have less virtual care visits than urban areas. It is important for areas that do not frequently use virtual care to still have access to these options. Not everyone is expected to have a smart phone or computer with a working microphone and webcam for web conferences online; however, most people do have some version of a handheld cellular device. Here’s where Inphonite serves as the bridge between patient and doctor within virtual care.   

Art of Chat   

With Art of Chat, patients can communicate with their medical provider on appointment reminders, billing questions, check-ins, and quick questions by texting. Communicating with their medical providers through texting is another form of virtual care as the patient and practice are remotely interacting with the shared interest of increasing patient care. In fact, medical providers can use Art of Chat to send virtual care appointment links via text to patients anywhere in the world. So now patients across the states, including the areas that may not have their full attention on virtual care, can get a taste of the simplicity virtual care has to offer.  

Texting is a widely used platform no matter where the patient is located. It garners the most responses as people always have their cell phones nearby them. Which is why engaging in virtual care through texting works around everyone’s busy schedules and increases interaction rates between patient and practice.  Art of Chat is not only convenient and accessible for patients, but it is also worthwhile for medical practices, too. As we take a step into a more virtual care kind of world, Art of Chat eases patients and medical practices into a lifestyle that is optimal for all.