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Telehealth for COPD

Telehealth use is defined as an appointment with a doctor, nurse, or other health professional by video or phone. In 2021, telemedicine was more commonly used by women and older Americans. The largest age demographic was 50-64.1

I love the idea for myself. It would be nice not to have to get out and go in weather that is too hot, too cold, too rainy, or too snowy. Other benefits that I believe telemedicine provides include not having to go into hospitals and physicians' offices and get all of the germs that are floating around.

Telehealth's effect on immunocompromised patients and rise during COVID-19

Between not wanting to get sick because of my lungs, I am also immune compromised because of the arthritis medicine that I take. Another thing to consider for me is if I become sick and have to take an antibiotic, I have to stop taking my arthritis med while on it, which brings my pain and swelling back.

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I believe telehealth existed before COVID-19, but COVID took it to a whole new level. According to USA Facts, data indicates that about 80% of physicians plan to continue using it. At the beginning of the pandemic, telehealth visits increased from about 5 million to more than 53 million among Medicare recipients alone. Data collected from April 14, 2021, through August 8, 2022, shows that while telehealth usage rates peaked during the pandemic, they remain higher than pre-pandemic levels.2

People living in the western US accessed telehealth more than people in other parts of the country. I think Covid made everyone realize that we can do many things without being somewhere in person. It helped the world open up to a whole lot more than telehealth, that’s for sure.

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Telehealth saves time and convenience for routine appointments

Within the last month in itself, I have had six of my annual appointments. Over half of them could have been done via telehealth. Some of them I needed tests or blood work for, but none of them were for which I would have seen the doctor that same day. The only reason I’d see them was just for the results anyway, so a telehealth appointment would have worked just fine.

I sit and think about everything I must do to prepare for those appointments. Most days, it takes me at least two hours to get out the door from the point of just waking up in the morning. If I didn’t have to do all of that and just picked up the phone or computer and did a video call, I would save so much time and energy that I could do something else with that time: catch up on housework, read a good book, or even watch some TV time.

Many telehealth services and their use post-pandemic

Some other forms of telehealth can include:

  • Pulmonary and cardiac rehab
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Pharmacy
  • Psychologist
  • Psychiatrists
  • Counselors

I know there are probably many more, but these are what I could think of. Have you used any of these telehealth services recently? Why or why not?

What are some pros and cons that you have had? Please share with us in the comments below.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The COPD.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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