With the healthcare industry consistently evolving at a breakneck pace, medical facilities and professionals are looking for ways to enhance their patients access to care. At the same time, they want to decrease overall healthcare costs. The good news is that digital technology makes it easy for healthcare professionals to converse with patients while breaking down the barriers that might impede the patient’s access to healthcare. As such, the modern-day telemedicine app for doctors makes it easy for patients to reach out to doctors. 

Now, in this regard, patients can either opt for a virtual consultation or a telephone consultation. Read on to understand the difference between the two to get a clear understanding of the terms. 

The benefits associated with using a medical app for doctors

Thanks to instant messaging, audio, and live video, patients are now able to interact with their doctors right from the comfort of their homes. Both virtual consultation and telephonic consultation are particularly beneficial for the ones living in rural communities. In the absence of such online facilities, they would have to travel long distances to reach the local doctor’s clinic or to consult a specialist.

As new terms like virtual care and telemedicine keep taking this industry by storm, it is important for healthcare professionals to ensure that they are using the correct language to educate patients about the benefits of the new-age digital tools. In the next section, you will get to know more about the difference between virtual consultation and telephonic consultation.

Difference between telephonic consultation and virtual consultation

When it comes to managing a medical practice, it is important to clearly demarcate the difference between a virtual consultation and telephonic consultation.

Telemedicine or telephonic consultation

Telemedicine refers particularly to the treatment of different medical ailments without meeting the patient in person. As such, healthcare providers might rely on telemedicine apps for medical professionals that offer the facilities of instant messaging, audio, or video for addressing patient concerns and remotely diagnosing their conditions.

It might include offering medical advice, taking them through different at-home exercises, or recommending them to local facilities or care providers. The rise of telemedicine apps is truly an exciting prospect in modern times as it offers patients the chance to access care right from tablets or phones.

There is no denying that remote treatment of certain conditions might be challenging. As such, telemedicine is generally useful in the treatment of common illnesses, providing specialist services, or managing chronic conditions. When patients deal with a serious or emergent condition, the remote healthcare practitioner will ask them to get in-person care.

Virtual consultation

Virtual care refers to a broader term that includes different ways through which healthcare providers interact remotely with patients. Along with treating patients through telemedicine, providers also use instant messaging, audio, and video for remotely communicating with patients.

It might involve checking in on the patient after their in-person visit, observing their vitals after surgery, or responding to questions about the treatment plan, conditions, and diagnosis.

Simply stated, virtual consultation includes all the ways in which doctors and patients can utilize digital tools for communicating in real time. Though telemedicine is all about long-distance medical care, virtual consultation is a broader term that involves a wide variety of digital healthcare tools and services.

Understanding the right term to use as per the healthcare facility offered

As patients and doctors are trying to use and make sense of these advanced digital tools, it is necessary for everyone to have a clear understanding of the meaning of these terms and their relation to each other. Naturally, some of the patients might find such terms confusing, specifically when they do not get the prospect to meet their healthcare provider personally. They need to help the patients differentiate between the terms to ensure that each person clearly knows what digital tools are involved.

When it comes to discussing the idea of digitizing healthcare, a better term to use would be virtual consultation rather than telephonic consultation. The latter comes with a limited definition, while the former offers a complete picture of the current healthcare situation that includes way more than telemedicine medical office software.