Virtual care may sound mysterious and even a little ambiguous, but it’s actually more straightforward than you think. In this new series aimed at addressing patients’ top questions and concerns, our goal is to offer a better understanding of how 98point6 works and fits into your life—empowering you to take charge of your health and thrive.
From smart wearables and apps to technology-enabled blood pressure cuffs, staying connected to your health is easy in 2020. But monitoring is only part of the equation. Add on-demand care that’s available right from your mobile device and you’re able to not only monitor, but act on any health questions or concerns in order to keep feeling your best.
“Think of your virtual visit a little differently than an in-office visit,” says 98point6 physician Chere McCormick, DO. “With virtual care, the patient has the power to deliver us the information needed to drive towards the best possible outcome. Ownership of your health puts you in the driver’s seat, which is exactly where you want to be.”
WHAT EXACTLY DO I NEED TO HAVE ON-HAND FOR MY 98POINT6 VISIT?
If you’ve already received care through 98point6, you know that getting diagnosis and treatment is not only easy, it can be done from anywhere—at your desk, on a bus, on vacation. And all you need to have a productive visit is your smartphone.
“That said,” says Dr. McCormick, “The more accurate and timely information you can provide us, the more efficient and effective the physician can be.”
Together, these essentials below frame the big picture of your health and ensure any treatment we might add to your existing Care Plan works well for you. And the good news is that with a little planning, you can make sure all of this information is on your mobile device. So when you do need to start a visit—even if it’s on a beach or at a work site—it’s all right there at your fingertips.
- Up-to-date medication list. Ideally, this includes name, dosage and frequency of use.
- TIP: Dr. McCormick suggests snapping a picture of your medication labels so you always have the details when you’re ready to start a visit.
- Past Medical History/Current Medical Conditions. Because each medication you take is associated with a particular condition, you’re part-way there. However, if you’ve also dealt with a significant or chronic condition in the past—even if the condition is currently well-controlled and especially if you no longer take medication for it—remember to share this potentially relevant information with the physician (otherwise, they will never know!).
- TIP: If you’re a new 98point6 patient, it’s important to provide your medical history and medications as accurately as possible with the Automated Assistant at the start of your first encounter. Already bypassed that part in a previous visit or have updated information to add? No worries. At your next visit, let the physician know you’d like to re-address your medical history and they’ll be happy to help you revise accordingly.
- Vital signs. “This is where smart devices and wearables are beneficial,” says Dr. McCormick. “Having access to information like pulse rate, temperature and blood pressure gives the physician valuable insight on your current physical state.”
GOOD TO HAVE
- Digital thermometer. Changes in normal body temperature, measured by a thermometer, suggests you are fighting an infection. Our Automated Assistant may ask you for a temperature reading in cases where it may be relevant.
- Scale. Measuring your weight, along with getting a close estimation of your height, can give us a lot of insight about your health. Your weight is also a critical factor in determining your unique dosing of medication.
- Digital blood pressure cuff. Most of these check not only your blood pressure, but also your pulse; these readings are equally important in times of illness and as a measure of overall health. You can purchase this tool easily online or at your local drug store.
- Wearables. Beyond the aforementioned vital signs, many smart watches now capture markers of health like physical activity and sleep.
- TIP: Female health tracking can be a key piece of information for your visit, so try to keep track of your cycle using your wearable device or one of the many apps available for that purpose.
- Digital otoscope. “This is a new technology that I’ve personally seen used by many families already to enhance the virtual care they’ve received through 98point6,” says Dr. McCormick. “A digital otoscope mimics the tool we use in the office to examine the ear canal. It connects to your smartphone or computer and shows us the inside of your ear through picture and video. No more guessing whether or not you have an ear infection!”
- If you have a chronic condition like asthma or diabetes, there are specific connected devices that may help in your day-to-day management. Start a dialogue with your physician to learn what might work best for you, or ask us at 98point6.