CREVE COEUR, Mo. – In the midst of cold and flu season and with the threat of the coronavirus spreading, technology might be providing solutions to your health.
A smartphone might be a solution for someone who feels sick.
Telemedicine apps are putting patients in contact with nurse practitioners and getting prescriptions filled without having to leave your bedroom.
“So it avoids that issue of going into a crowded waiting room or get an appointment or have to wait a couple of days to be seen,” says Erin Powell, system director of retail and virtual health SSM Health. “So it’s really about offering a great resource that’s convenient and affordable for patients today.”
In St. Louis, SSM Health unveiled its virtual visit app in February 2019 with visits priced at $25.
As word continues to spread about respiratory illnesses and the coronavirus, patients are choosing to not spread their germs and see a specialist via computer, iPad, or smartphone.
“For an SSM health virtual visit, you’ll see a provider,” Powell says. “Generally, it’s a nurse practitioner at this time. You will see that person via a virtual or video visit or it will be via phone.”
A set of questions helps narrow down symptoms before the virtual visit begins.
SSM Health says they’ve seen an increase in people trying their telemedicine services.
“Right now, considering the amount of flu we’re seeing, not only the coronavirus but also standard flu,” says Powell. “Those volumes have been very high this year. So, we’re seeing people not doing well and looking for what is a different way I can get care and virtual visit is a great option for that.”