During this pandemic, it’s important to have a healthcare professional you trust to contact with medical questions. But the last place you want to visit right now unless absolutely necessary is the doctor’s office.
So how can you find a medical professional to consult? The answer is telemedicine and Google. Tap or click here for ways to take care of your mental health from home too.
Google is making it easier than ever to access medical care from a distance. Read on for new functions on Google’s webpages to get this care for yourself and your family!
Find someone local
Doctors can pay visits to your house again like days of old with telemedicine and virtual care. It just doesn’t happen in the literal sense.
Search for “doctor” or “doctor’s office” in Google Maps to begin this process. Maps has some new features to help you connect to medical care virtually, and get treatment or consultation remotely.
When you select a result for your search in Google Maps, you’ll pull up the doctor’s Business Profile. This profile always has information like a phone number or a website.
Now, so long as doctors report it, a medical Business Profile has a “Get online care” link that you can access. This link will take you to a medical provider’s virtual care website, where you can schedule an appointment.
This virtual care site can also provide information on what to expect during an appointment, and tell you more about the doctor. Tap or click here for ways to safely record your doctor’s visits.
The virtual care site may tell you which video service you’ll need to speak to the doctor. These appointments are usually done via video calls, so you’ll need a phone, tablet or computer with a camera.
If you’d prefer to just have a phone call, that’s also possible. But a video call can help you relate to this doctor better, and showcase symptoms like rashes or lumps.
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Things like the doctor’s hours are likely to change due to the pandemic. And the doctor can’t fully evaluate you virtually, so they’ll be walking you through some checkup steps, and mostly answering questions.
But they can discern if your symptoms are severe enough to bring you to their office, or the hospital, via a telemedicine or virtual care visit. And they can offer advice, and ways to mitigate different symptoms online.
Get treated no matter where you are
It can be nice to have a telemedicine appointment with a local doctor, as you can physically visit them for a more in-depth checkup after the pandemic. Or, you can keep using your current doctor via virtual care technology.
But if you need or want a specialist that you can’t find locally, or if you don’t have a regular GP right now, you can find doctors that operate solely by telemedicine and virtual care. And Google is making them easier to find.
Try typing “immediate care” into Google Search on your computer, phone or tablet. Google will give you a whole box of “Online Care” options, whose sites and apps you can open to access medical care while at home.
Doctors and other medical personnel can reside anywhere and still give you good medical advice and treatment options through these services. Google is also listing the prices of these services through Search.
If you don’t have insurance, these telemedicine and virtual care options are often cheaper than local doctors. If you do, your insurance may cover the cost of these services; check with your provider to make sure.
Bonus: Google can help you find your next meal too
Google has updated another part of Search and Maps as well to help us in this pandemic. When you Google a restaurant, or for pick up/takeout options, Google will let you know if a place is offering delivery or takeout.
This function can tell you revised hours on restaurants (many places you love may be closing earlier!), as well as take you to where you can order some food. This may be Seamless, Door Dash or another service the restaurant is working with.
Google can save you from cooking another night, as well as connect you with a doctor, all from the comfort and safety of your home.
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Use Google Search and Google Maps to find a doctor, locally or not, who can answer your medical questions and even be with you after this quarantine. Go ahead and find your new or next doctor with a quick search right now!
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, advice, or health objectives.