The natural and allopathic medical industries, meditation, fitness, and other health-related fields have been through dramatic digital transformation. In the years since the disruption of 2020-21 that affected healthcare worldwide, virtual medicine and wellness are here to stay, with many providers expanding their support platforms or incorporating automated solutions to cater to the health demands of more patients and clients worldwide.
The increasing frequency of chronic diseases, spiralling care costs, and the impediments of distance and long wait times are some of the pressing issues today that virtual care helps to address. The potential for digital platforms to considerably reduce healthcare costs and enhance patient outcomes has become more apparent to health providers and workplaces alike.
The virtual world helps practitioners and coaches reach a broader range of clients, reduce overhead costs, and have more flexible schedules. For clients, it means more convenient, affordable and accessible services than traditional in-person consults and classes.
Like anything, there are pros and cons.
Data privacy and protection are significant risks in sharing sensitive personal information like health history and financial information. While our data is collected and stored in traditional settings, the rise of virtual wellness meant an increase in new platforms becoming available, so choosing a reputable one with strong data privacy and protection measures is paramount.
It can be more difficult for natural medicine practitioners to diagnose and treat clients remotely without a physical examination and being able to use specific diagnostic tools, creating a higher risk of misdiagnosis or things being overlooked.
Poor internet connection and software glitches can disrupt virtual wellness sessions, which is frustrating for practitioners and clients and makes it difficult to get the most out of the service when this happens.
Building rapport takes more effort with the isolating nature of online interaction, and people find that they miss the personal connection that comes with in-person services.
More Choices, More Affordable: The Benefits of Virtual Wellness
With a stable internet connection, we can access virtual wellness services anywhere, any time, returning the gift of time to people in rural areas, those with limited mobility, or busy schedules. Online mechanisms allow clients to schedule convenient appointments and participate in sessions from the comfort of their homes.
A study with multiple sclerosis patients showed an association between higher meeting attendance and improved emotional well-being in a virtual wellness program, resulting in improved quality of life for people with MS.
Services can be more affordable since online practitioners have lower overhead costs and can offer services to a broader range of clients. Clients can now connect with practitioners worldwide, opening up more choices to find someone specialising in their specific needs, even if they live remotely or have a rare condition.
A few tips for conducting virtual appointments
- Strong and reliable internet connection is a must. If the internet connection is weak or unstable, it can cause video and audio problems, which can disrupt the session.
- Use a device with a high-quality camera or external camera, and you don’t have to spend a lot to get a good microphone which is a great investment.
- Have a quiet and well-lit place for your appointments. An “influencer light” is also another worthy investment.
- Close any unnecessary programs on your device to free up resources and improve the performance of the video conferencing platform.
A New Focus on Prevention
The move towards digital health and wellness is more than a fad. It reacts to our growing awareness of living optimally and creating healthier work environments. As the field of virtual health evolves, so has the emphasis towards prevention. More of us are looking to build measures into our lives to improve our immunity and mindset to reduce the likelihood or severity of sickness and chronic disorders. While allopathic healthcare systems provide treatment when something has gone wrong, many people have reevaluated their approaches to physical activity, nutrition, sleep, and stress management over the past few years.
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