It’s safe to say that technology is now fully ingrained into our everyday lives by bringing information, resources, products, and healthcare to the palm of our hands instantaneously. Healthcare is perhaps one of the largest growing sectors in technology today with a projected market value of $36.2 billion by 2020, up from $14.3 billion in the last five years alone. This means that the days of germ-filled waiting rooms, limited appointment availability, and out of the way commutes, just to have a disengaged doctor scribble an illegible prescription, are becoming further and fewer between.
Chances are, you’ve already dabbled with digital healthcare or telehealth whether you realize it or not. Defined as “the use of technology to perform a wide array of healthcare-related tasks,” you’ve benefited from telehealth if you have Googled your symptoms, viewed your information through a patient portal, or ordered medication online.
Telehealth is not only changing the way we interact with our doctors and physicians, but it has completely reinvented the landscape of medicine and pharmaceuticals. We can now bypass a trip to the pharmacy altogether and have prescription medications delivered right to our door.
The emergence of telehealth has provided a platform for tech startups to begin claiming shares of the medical market. These companies make it easy for you to purchase medications that would otherwise need an in-person visit to a physician’s office; all while their own line up of licensed medical professionals provide medical insight for you on your time and from behind the comfort of your phone or computer screen – typically at no extra cost.
Speaking of expenses, many telehealth patients have found that purchasing their medications through an online platform significantly reduces the cost thanks to the ability to cut out the middleman and sell directly to the consumer. Telehealth is one of the most cost-effective ways to receive prescription medication, especially for those who are currently in-between health insurance companies or policies, or off of health insurance entirely.
From birth control to anxiety medication, you can find a way to get almost any prescription medication online, even costly brand-name medications or medications new to the market. Telehealth startups have been leading the charge when it comes to introducing new products to consumers and have been leveling the playing field for women, who are unfortunately prone to experiencing difficulties obtaining medication due to the common dismissal of women’s health concerns by doctors. Addyi, the first pill to aid low libido in women, was recently introduced to consumers and made popular by telehealth operations, finally providing the female population with a solution for a long-standing yet often ignored issue.
Not only are online prescription ordering and virtual check-ups incredibly beneficial for those who are very ill, physically disabled, or located in rural areas, but the convenience of telehealth has expanded into the $75 billion pet industry. Websites like Chewy.com now allow us to order medications for our beloved furry friends online, usually at cheaper prices than pet stores or your vet’s office. Telehealth can truly make several facets of our lives easier!