Should GPs offer online consultations?

  • Whilst some remain sceptical about online consultations it could reduce the need for face-to-face appointments with GPs by 40%.

    Many people find it difficult to get time off work, travel and get in more harm when trying to get to the doctor's office for a consultation that lasts just ten minutes. Patients that have disabilities that can cause them pain when travelling for a long distance, or could catch different infections when sitting in waiting rooms could benefit from online consultations. Modern Laptop Computer Isolated

    Dr Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, chief executive and founder of Patients Know Best, writes for the Guardian that it is important to offer online consultations when they are appropriate. Many in the NHS remain sceptical about consulting online as they feel that more time may be taken up, and they are unsure of what online consultation actually is.

    Whilst the use of emails does not work well for this method of consultation, the right was to do online consultations involves asynchronously. This is where a patient fills out a structured online questionnaire that the doctor checks at a later date. Good online consultations also involve working synchronously, where both patient and doctor talk at the same time using some sort of video technology such a Skype.

    With many face-to-face consultations involving the GP asking the patient the same set of routine question at various points throughout the year, the online asynchronous method could save the patient a visit to the doctors and the doctor's time.

    In 2010, the Mayo Clinic in the US found that online consultations reduced the need for face-to-face appointments with GPs by 40%. Doctors can devise questions themselves using programmes such as Instant Medical History.

    IMH, part of the Mayo Clinic study, tailors the detail of follow on questions to the speciality of the clinician. However a downside to online appointments is that the doctor cannot examine the patient, but not every appointment requires an examination. In synchronous video consultations allows the doctor to view the patients living conditions which could give them information they may have missed.

    Dr Al-Ubaydli says that in order for online consultations to work effectively the need to be introduced correctly. If GPs and hospital staff give the impression they're not fully behind online consulting, patients will sense it and not use the option.

    GPs and doctors must move away from thinking they are too busy to consult online as it is because they are so busy that they should consider online consultations.

    What do you think of online consultations? Is it a service you would use?

    Image source:

Related articles

  • Read More

    New social enterprise to help adults with vulnerabilities

    Aspire Community Benefit Society is taking over the council’s Learning Disability Service for a five year contract, reports the Yorkshire Evening Post.This new model will see the Learning...

  • Read More

    New app hopes to bring smarter housing for social landlords

    The ZONR app combines the latest intelligent sensor technology, smart data transmission and decision engine analytics to centrally monitor and support heating systems across social landlord’s...

  • Read More

    New model of care homes in Wakefield to go ahead

    WDH's vision was being able to help people live longer, healthier lives and see support by co-ordinated services delivered as close to their homes as possible under the banner of ‘Connecting Care',...

  • Read More

    App to support young people with autism with social interactions

    This new app launched by Samsung aims to help treat the inability to make eye contact. The app, called Look at Me, has been developed with Seoul National University Bundang Hospital and Yonsei...

  • Read More

    3D maps could help people with visual impairments navigate cities

    The official mapping body for Japan GSI have already developed paper maps for those with visual impairments using embossed surfaces to mark out roads, and is now planning a programme which will do...

  • Read More

    A paralysed man has been able to walk again following cell transplant

    Darek Fidyka, who was paralysed from the chest down following a knife attack in 2010, is now able to walk using a frame, reports the BBC. The treatment is a world first and was carried out by...

  • Read More

    Breakthrough blood test for Alzheimer's cure

    An international collaboration led by scientists from King's College London and Proteome Sciences has published a study identifying a set of ten proteins in the blood. This test will then predict the...

  • Read More

    Trials for Alzheimer's disease is declining

    US scientists have said there is an urgent need to increase the number of potential therapies being investigated. They say that only one new medicine has been approved since 2004, reports the BBC.The...

  • Read More

    Study into the possibility of delaying the onset of dementia

    One third of a million adults in the UK are taking part in a trial, funded by the Medical Research Council to try to predict what factors increases the risk of a person developing dementia.Each of...

  • Read More

    Scientists believe a blood test could detect the early signs of Alzheimer's

    Researchers have found that changes in the blood may signify Alzheimer's disease in its earliest stages. The study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, has identified ten molecules in blood...

How to fund Housing Support and Social Care Services "Alot of information in a short time, good for me because I travelled a long way. So I feel the journey was worthwhile." C.T - People First Dorset


Briefing Signup