What is telehealth?

Telehealth is a means of facilitating health care related services through telecommunication technologies. Telehealth services first popped up during the early 1900s throughout the Netherlands with the transmission of heart rhythms over the telephone. Fast forward into the 21st century and you will find the digital age-integrated into almost all aspects of our lives. This has kindled a variety of innovations to improve the capabilities of telehealth services.

For modern-day patients, telehealth can accommodate multiple health service needs in a convenient format. Telehealth works in two main ways. The first being the transfer of health information, documents and other useful clinical data between physicians and patients. These interactions are facilitated through one-party uploading and sending the necessary info to another. This is used for a simple and safe transfer of medical records and recommendations for the other user to review. Using an appropriate platform helps to ensure your personal health information is secure and protected.

The second main use of telehealth is creating a live two-way communication between a physician and a patient. This can be best described as a digital appointment attended by both parties simultaneously through a smartphone, tablet or computer with speakers and a camera. This can be a huge benefit for patients who don’t leave near a doctor, or who have tight scheduling constraints.

It’s important to note that telehealth can have multiple uses and appearances. Options presented by your health care provider could be either one of the above ways to use telehealth or a combination of both. This means you could submit medical documents to your doctor then, after review, they may schedule a live appointment to meet with you digitally.

Impact of Telehealth

Telehealth has come a long way from sending heartbeat data over telephone lines. As most recently reported by the American Medical Association; the telehealth industry increased 53% from 2016 to 2017. This number towers over traditional means of healthcare in the same time frame, with the second closest being urgent care facilities at just 14%.

Some of the most common users of telehealth practices are patients living in rural locations. One study conducted in Virginia’s isolated Tidewater region explored the effect of offering telehealth services to behavioral health patients. After the initial 8 month trial period the results showed that patients’ readmission rates and ER visits decreased when using the telehealth tools accompanied by coaching. On top of that, the remote monitoring program yielded high satisfaction rates across participants.

In this paper on the economic impact of using telehealth in rural areas, Rick Schadelbauer uses research from several studies to underline the benefits of telehealth. Especially in cases where a patient lives far from their treatment facility, telehealth provides a possible solution in order for that patient to receive needed access to care. By eliminating the need for travel, Telehealth can reduce or eliminate the costs associated with traveling for treatment, or for lost time at work.


Telehealth in Medical Marijuana

Some clinics across the country have begun offering medical marijuana card evaluations through telehealth platforms. These platforms can make the process much more accessible and streamlined than the conventional in-clinic approach.  

To get your medical marijuana evaluation done through telehealth you will need a smartphone, tablet or computer with audio and video capability. You will also need to get your medical documents to your marijuana clinician. After receiving the required medical documents as proof of your qualifying condition you can schedule a time to conduct a two-way telehealth call with your doctor. During the appointment, your doctor will be able to see your records digitally to review them for your evaluation and after its completion, they can post your required documentation to your client portal so you can submit it to the state! (The state of Missouri imposes a $25 fee on all applications, $125 for home cultivation.)

Telehealth appointments with MMJ CofA

Here at MMJ Clinic of America, we are proud to offer secure telehealth options for your medical marijuana card evaluation. Whether you live in a rural community within Missouri or it would just be more convenient to do your evaluation remotely, feel free to reach out to us at 816-708-1670 or check out our Telehealth web page. We can help you set up your telehealth appointments today.

If you would like to attend your appointment on your smartphone, you will have to download an additional, free app, call to inquire. Here are some good practices to make sure the appointment goes smoothly:

  • Be in a well-lit room.
  • Ensure you have a stable internet connection.
  • Do not have the camera facing an open window (to avoid excessive light).
  • Have the app already downloaded about 10 min before the appointment and be in the live meeting around 5 minutes before, to ensure you can access your appointment normally.

If you have any other questions about qualifying conditions or telehealth med card evaluations please feel free to call us at 816-406-0088 or email us directly at info@mmjclinicofamerica.com.