Telemedicine Solution Provider

5 Things You MUST Know Before Using an Online Telemedicine Portal

By Rajiv Sikka In Telemedicine and Healthcare

One of the biggest healthcare transformation of decade was to enable remote access to healthcare services; commonly known as TeleHealth or Telemedicine services. Telemedicine refers to delivering healthcare services over a distance, be it another local location, city or country. Border less technologies have had a great impact on society and quality healthcare being one of the top priorities for every country also got its due share. Despite of the challenges in healthcare industry, it continues to grow and outnumber the problems encountered.

Over 7 years now Telemedicine or Telehealth online portals have been instrumental in treating common symptoms (cough, cold, pain, fever etc.) to specialty consults like teleradiology, telepsychiatry, telenutrition and more. Owing to busy routine and technology access at hand, online telemedicine facilities are widely being used in developed and developing nations. Being a Custom Telemedicine Solution Provider and technology enthusiast, I would like to share a few important points you must consider before you start using any online health/ telemedicine portal.

Security

Security is the first thing you should be aware of while using an online telemedicine health portal. Look for HTTPS (Green Lock) symbol in the top- left of web browser window. If its RED lock or a strike off symbol, stay away from using such sites as they do not guarantee your Password, Credit card and Personal health information data security. Do not ever use any payment method (Credit/ Debit Card, Paypal, Stripe, Netbanking) on such non- secure portals. Fraudsters try to fish your vital sensitive data by adopting various smart techniques like similar looking pages to famous health portals, Virus Scan alerts, Payment Processing Alerts etc. so watch out for traps.

Privacy

Read the privacy policy document before you sign up with any healthcare portal. It’s very important that you are aware of how the portal owner and its service provider (doctors) handle your sensitive information like health records, medical history, prescriptions, personal information etc.). Make sure the portal FAQs have a very clear description about where, why and how they intend to use and store any of your data submitted on their portal. Privacy breach is a serious offense and must be one of your prime concerns before you sign up with a healthcare/ telemedicine portal.

Mobility

Mobility is not just a need, it’s a lifestyle these days. Anything which is not mobile is considered inefficient and incomplete. Most good online health portals are accessible via mobile browsers or better via Mobile Apps. Make sure your online health portal is mobile friendly and gives you the advantage of accessing it from anywhere. Using a health service on mobile can save you a lot of time and gives you more freedom to plan your schedule. Easy and quick appointment scheduling with live video call would be the two most important features to look for in any healthcare mobile app.

Credibility of  Telemedicine Service Provider/ Doctor

Nearly every other online telemedicine platform claims to have best doctors and high service availability but is it actually true? Especially at odd hours, can you really find a doctor online who can advise you quickly on your problem and help you save a great deal of panic. Please make sure you check google reviews, social media and community pages of online health portal you wish to use. It will give you a clear idea of their credibility and service delivery. HIPAA compliance is another highly regarded health care standard in Americas that online health portals would flaunt on their website. It’s always preferable to book consults with those doctors who are have certified degrees and experience and good reviews by past patients.

Legal and Regulatory Compliance

Things have take a nasty shape owing to increased drug abuse, data storage and sharing rules over the internet. Service providers have known to flout the privacy rules and terms of use mentioned on their websites/ portals and healthcare portals are no exception. Make sure the online health care service you are using or wish to use are legally allowed to provide service in your area and are authorized to prescribe medicine online, failing which you may end up getting a frustrating experience both health- wise and financially. Be direct is checking out with their support people and ask whether they are authorized to provide telemedicine service in your area and also their doctors can prescribe medicines online. 

Following above suggestions can ensure that you have chosen the right healthcare/ telemedicine online portal.

The author and his team have well evidenced experience in successfully creating innovative bespoke telemedicine solutions for US, UK and European markets.