It has become clear that Social Distancing is one of the most impactful ways to stop the spread of Coronavirus. For Seniors, particularly those with chronic and other underlying health issues, the case for Social Distancing is even stronger, as any weakening of the immune system makes it especially important to reduce exposure to potential risks (learn more about Social Distancing specifics for Seniors here).
With more Seniors strictly confined to their homes, it is important they are able to remain healthy and self-sufficient throughout this pandemic to minimize the burden on strained medical facilities and personnel.
Telehealth is any virtual care platform that connects healthcare professionals and patients. It is a tool that can help high-risk community members, including Seniors, stay healthy in the face of a worldwide pandemic like Covid-19. In a piece for Harvard Health Publishing, Director of the Center for TeleHealth at Massachusetts General Hospital and Vice President of Virtual Care for Partners Healthcare, Dr Lee H. Schwamm, described telehealth as “tailor-made for this moment in time.” People can meet healthcare professionals instantly, anywhere, at any time, without putting themselves at any risk.
It is believed that telehealth can help flatten the curve of Covid-19 two-fold. Firstly, by reducing the exposure risk to medical personal, allowing them to remain quarantined and healthy so they can continue to assist for the duration of the crisis. Dr Schwamm explains that keeping medical professionals away from their patients is called “Medical Distancing” and is just as important as the now well-known concept of Social Distancing for combating the virus.
Secondly, telehealth allows those who are most at risk, such as Seniors, to stay completely safe but still access necessary care quickly. Dr Christine Choi of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center advised that due to the lack of testing, or any known cure, the first step anyone who is feeling unwell should take is to call their doctor. Medical staff can consult over the phone or video chat and determine whether urgent care is needed or if a person can quarantine themself and recover at home. Dr Choi insists though that people, especially Seniors, go to the ER if they have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
There are many established telehealth companies such as Amwell, Teladoc Health, or Doctor on Demand who are continuing to offer their services during the Coronavirus pandemic. In addition, many in-person clinics and hospitals are now offering their services via telehealth, including Dr Choi who shared that her clinic has now started performing telephone visits. To encourage and protect people who utilize these telehealth services, rules that restrict doctors from one state from providing telehealth services to patients in another, have been waived and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Prevention have announced that telehealth calls for Covid-19 symptoms are considered billable for clinicians.
Here are Audicus, we are proud to be a telehealth company stepping up to provide important and essential healthcare to people at home during the Coronavirus pandemic. We offer complete hearing healthcare services from testing, to consultations, to Hearing Aid fittings, to ongoing support to people from the comfort of their own home. Call our team now at (844) 383-2702 to learn more or click here.