One of the most common complaints about the Indian health care system is the high cost associated with quality medical services, followed by lack of sufficient access to medical experts and long waiting hours.
In recent times, the growth in teleconsultation has begun to bridge these gaps in the system. Here we look at how cancer patients and caregivers can get the best out of teleconsultation by following a few do’s and don’ts.
When can I opt for teleconsultation for cancer care?
Here are some of the common situation in which you can opt for teleconsultation:
- To receive an explanation of your test and scan reports
- For treatment planning and discussions
- For second opinions and evaluation of your treatment plan
- For supervision for oral chemotherapy and at-home procedures
- For queries regarding side-effects, dosages, and general advice
- For follow-up consultations when your oncologist confirms that a teleconsultation will suffice
- For nutritional advice
- For psychological counselling services
For certain procedures including clinical examinations, treatment procedures and post-procedural check-ups, you may still be required to visit the clinic or the hospital.
Is teleconsultation as effective as in-person consultation?
Many studies have proved that teleconsultation is as good as, if not more effective than in-person consultation. One reason for this could be that teleconsultation usually happens in a calmer and more relaxed setting where there is more scope for well-thought out queries and responses.
Do I need teleconsultation?
Here are some scenarios in which teleconsultation can be better than in-person consultation.
You want to consult an expert from another location
If you are looking to consult a cancer expert in another city or country, teleconsultation can help avoid repeated travel and stay costs.
This is particularly beneficial for those living in smaller cities and towns where access to expert oncologists can be limited.
Although you will still have to visit the oncologist for your medical procudures, you can use teleconsultation for a second opinion or to discuss your treatment plan.
You have an urgent query
Teleconsultation allows you to access your oncologist as soon as possible, without having to go through form filling and record creation procedures mandatory at hospitals.
This is especially advantageous when you just need a quick answer to a query or want an opinion on a matter of concern.
You want to avoid exposure to viruses
Most cancers and cancer treatments weaken the immune system making you more susceptible to infections. It’s advisable to minimise exposure to viruses when possible. Unnecessary travel and hospital visits can be best avoided through teleconsultation.
The patient prefers not to travel
Recovering from intensive cancer treatment requires all your energy and all unnecessary exertions are to be avoided. Leaving the home for hospital visits can increase the anxiety of some cancer patients.
You want to save time
Visiting a clinic or hospital involves preparing for the visit, travel and waiting time before the consultation. All of these can be avoided by consulting any expert from the comfort of your home.
You can also consult several different experts within short spans, avoiding unnecessary delays from traveling to different locations.
You want to save money
Apart from travel and stay costs, audio/video consultation also gives you the option of selecting the medical expert whose services fall within your budget.
Websites display the fees of the expert of your choice and this allows you to make an informed choice. Onco.com’s app offers you cashback and discounts on certain services making it a pocket friendly option.
What is the procedure for a teleconsultation with Onco.com?
You can access 1500+ oncologists in India and the US through Onco.com. You can find their profiles and details on our website. You can book a teleconsultation with them through the same website or you can call 79965 79965 to speak with a care manager who will help you identify the right oncologist for you.
Once you have made your choice of oncologist, you can pay for the consultation over the website or through our app.
The care manager will be able to confirm the date and time of the call and will help you prepare for the call. You can submit all relevant reports beforehand, so that the oncologist can assess them before the call.
When you book a teleconsultation through Onco.com, you get lifetime access to a care manager who will guide you through every step of your treatment journey.
How do I prepare for a teleconsultation?
Here are a few things to do before your teleconsultation:
- Gather all the relevant test reports and submit them to the care manager beforehand.
- Make a list of all the questions you have for the oncologist. This will ensure that you do not forget to ask any of them during the teleconsultation.
- Ensure that you have good internet connectivity during the call, in case of a video call.
- Sit in a quiet place so that the disturbances are minimised during the call.
- If possible, the patient and caregiver can both be present during the call.
- You can make notes during the call to ensure you do not miss out on any of the details.
- In case you need to reschedule the call, inform the care manager as early as possible.
What if I need a follow-up appointment or if I have questions after the call?
Your care manager will be able to assist you with a follow-up appointment. You can share your queries with the care manager and she/he will ensure that the answers reach you.
Can I speak to different types of cancer experts through teleconsultation?
Yes, you can speak with surgical oncologists, medical oncologists (for chemotherapy related queries), radiation oncologists, cancer nutritionists, cancer counsellors and many other experts through teleconsultations.