Telehealth is a growing branch of healthcare that allows patients and care providers to connect virtually for consults and treatment.

When visiting a primary care doctor or urgent care for minor concerns becomes inconvenient and time-consuming, telehealth enables you to speak to a healthcare provider without traveling or taking time off work. Some healthcare providers offer same-day appointments, so you don’t have to worry about long waits.

Telehealth is not necessarily a permanent replacement for urgent care, but here are some common issues treated through telemedicine.

Minor cuts and wounds

Scrapes, burns, cuts and wounds are common in day-day life. However, the effort it takes to visit urgent care or schedule an appointment with your doctor may cause you to put off getting help.

Telehealth may be the answer. A healthcare professional can usually learn a lot by asking you how the injury happened and how the wound feels. A video call allows them to examine the wound and determine the care and treatment you need.

Sprains and strains

Twisted or sprained an ankle while playing sports or running? Getting to an urgent care center may be difficult or even impossible. However, telemedicine may help.

A healthcare professional can use a video call to examine your injury, especially if visible bruising or swelling occurs. They may help you examine the sprain and determine whether you need ice packs and rest or if X-rays are required to learn more about the injury.

Urinary tract infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common health issue among women. A big part of UTI diagnosis involves patient self-reporting; an in-person visit is not always necessary. 

Healthcare providers can diagnose UTIs and prescribe appropriate treatments or medication over video calls. Additionally, research from the National Library of Medicine showcases the benefits of telehealth in UTI treatment and management.

Colds and flu

Mild colds, COVID-19 and other infections are typically easily managed through telehealth appointments. Telehealth services not only help you get the treatment you need but also reduce your risk of spreading the infection as you don’t have to leave the house.

The healthcare professional will ask you to describe your symptoms so they can determine whether you have the flu, a common cold, or COVID-19 and choose a treatment plan accordingly.

The bottom line

Telehealth is a time and effort-saving way to get medical attention for minor concerns. It can help your healthcare provider determine whether an in-person appointment is necessary when dealing with illness or injuries. It can also be a way to monitor and treat certain chronic conditions over a longer span of time.

For life-threatening issues, such as a severe asthma attack, a major fall or accident, or severe bleeding, telehealth is not the best choice. In such cases, call 911 or visit the emergency room immediately.