Michigan Association of Health Plans

Using technology to overcome barriers to health care

This story appeared in Priority Health’s ThinkHealth Blog. Read more here

Advances in health care are often talked about in terms of procedures or medications. However, technology is also being used to improve and simplify patient experience, making it easier than ever for patients to connect and engage in their care.

Access for all
One of the most significant barriers to health care is access. Whether due to a lack of transportation, scheduling conflicts, distance or other physical challenges, virtual care virtually eliminates these access barriers.

What is virtual care?
Virtual care is the use of technology to connect a patient and a doctor who are in two different locations. A patient can use their computer, phone or tablet to attend an appointment with their primary care provider, a specialist or behavioral health provider without having to leave home.

Why use virtual care?
Virtual care is a time-efficient and affordable option for non-emergency care. Symptoms such as cough, cold and flu, back pain, pink eye, rashes and more can be addressed and treated 24 hours a day, seven days a week for less than the cost of an emergency room or urgent care visit.

It’s a convenient choice for patients with mobility challenges, such as a wheelchair, walker or cane, or location-based challenges, such as a lack of transportation or a long drive to the doctor’s office. It also comes in handy if you’re out of state visiting family or on vacation.

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