We, millennials, are an odd breed indeed; we are constantly caught up in the middle of two warring generations. We know what it was like to live without technology and we fondly remember the days when we ran to our encyclopedias for reference. At the same time we were the first ones to master the Internet, help Mario find his princess, fall in love with Orkut and later embrace Facebook enthusiastically.
We understand the Internet and its limitations as well as appreciate what an invaluable resource it is. The Internet has taught us a lot, but is it always a trust worthy source of information? I think not. Especially when it comes to health. I am a self confessed hypochondriac and the teeniest of symptoms can make me run to the hundreds of medical websites offering free advice. Once, after consulting an unauthorized medical website, I was convinced that I was dying of a rare lung disease only to have my physician chortle with amusement as she informed me that all I had was a bad cough.
There have been numerous instances when my imagination has gone on a rampage, thanks to the “helpful” medical websites and has me convinced that I have a few weeks to live.
But does that mean I give up my trust on Dr. Internet and run for physical consultations every time I sneeze? I don’t think so. Thankfully, we don’t live in an age where we have to wait for hours for our turn to meet the only harried doctor available in the neighbourhood. We can easily opt for online doctor consultation in the comfort of our homes and have our medical problems solved easily.
Dieticians, neurologists, cardiac specialists, clinical psychologists, general family physicians and others are all available in few single clicks. You can log on to a website, take Ask Apollo for example and follow simple steps to get your online consultation.
Say, I want to talk to a cardiologist in Hyderabad today. I can select for a list of doctors available, view their work experience and go through their profile. Once you select a doctor of your choice, you can opt for a telephonic or a video consultation, select your date and time slot, make payment and you are all set! Ask Apollo also gives you the unique service of choosing doctors that speak your mother tongue so that you feel comfortable interacting with them.
The entire process is transparent, you get to know your doctor before hand, the fees are pre decided and you have the opportunity to consult with doctors across India easily. This is something a local hospital will not be able to provide and often in hospitals one ends up visiting doctors who they know nothing about.
Sure, it was difficult to convince its benefits to my parents who were its staunch opponents but after their amazing interactions with doctors on the Internet, they have been forced to change their opinion. Online medical consultations are a boon for us all and I have found it very useful for my family and myself.