My Experience On Using A Telehealth Service – Medifi

Image Credit: Medifi

As of this time of writing, we are currently experiencing a pandemic. Countries have been in lockdowns and curfews are implemented. People are advised to stay at home, wear a mask if going outside, and maintain social distancing. Life needs to move forward and one important part of it is having a checkup by a doctor for any concerns you have regarding your health, this is where Telehealth or Teleconsultation enters.

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth is the use of digital information and communication technologies, such as computers and mobile devices, to access health care services remotely and manage your health care. These may be technologies you use from home or that your doctor uses to improve or support health care services.[1]

In my case, I had a pimple or a wound inside my ear. So I went ahead and contacted my ENT and ask if she does Telehealth or Teleconsultation. She advised a Viber # of the hospital and Medifi. Since I’m a health IT enthusiast, this is an opportunity for me to try on these kinds of applications.

This is my usual ENT doctor so she already has my records, she asked if I wanted to do a call instead, but I opted for just a chat since I’m taking care of my cute baby daughter.

Medifi, based on its website, has two target audiences. Patients and doctors. Patients can do a consultation with physicians using the application while doctors can signup and have an online platform as an alternative for a clinic office.

Here’s a walkthrough on some of the pages and my experience in screenshots:

Medifi Home

Medifi initial signup page.

telehealth service medifi signup

Medifi Log In page.

telehealth service medifi login page

After logging in, the user interface and menu is simple and not much going on, which is a positive thing. The bottom menu options are Home, Consultations, History, and Profile.

telehealth service medifi main menu page

This page is when you search for doctors, it’ll show the profile picture, name, specialization, and the consultation fee.

telehealth service medifi search doctors result

This is where you can check your active session.

medifi consultation page

Once you have completed a consultation, a record of it will show in the “History page”, including the details like the date, time, and duration.

medifi history page

Here’s my discussion with my doctor. This allows you to also do video or voice calls. Attachment of images like a picture of a wound can be done, although you can’t add videos.

medifi chat session

Here’s the profile page where you can also update your info and add a payment method.

telehealth service medifi profile page

Good Things:

  • Smooth flow from registration to login
  • The user interface is simple and easy to use
  • Allows debit/credit card payment
  • Allows video call and chat to talk to your doctor
  • Allows attachment of images
  • Doctor able to provide e-prescription and medical certificate on the mobile app
  • You automatically get copies of the files like medical certificate, e-prescriptions, lab request, and other documents directly to your email
  • HIPAA Compliant – USA standard to follow to make sure that your personal health information is secure and protected, I believe they also follow the Data Privacy Act here in the Philippines since they have an office here and they promote it, although you might need to verify it directly from them.
  • Informs you of any downtime or issues that may affect the service

Needs Improvement/Missing Features:

  • Can’t use health insurance
  • Needs more additional payment methods (GCash, Paymaya)
  • Does not allow attachment of videos or other file types like PDF

So far, the main issue I have is that I’m not able to use my health insurance. Since we’re currently in a pandemic, we try to save as much cash as possible and take advantage of the things we pay for like insurances. I hope this can be added in the near future, integration with medical/health insurances is not easy, but it’s feasible.

A minor one but should have a big impact would be the additional payment methods. To target the majority of the masses, offering more flexible payment methods like GCash, Paymaya and the likes are essential. Not all have debit or credit cards, and not all are comfortable in adding those card details in an online platform.

TIPS

The consultation fee seems to be not that far from usual, but that depends of course with the specialization, years of experience, and other factors that I am not aware of. Since you don’t have face-to-face interaction, and doctors aren’t psychic to know what’s wrong with you, make sure to provide all the necessary information. Below are the things to take note to make the most out of your consultation:

  • If you have a wound, take pictures and videos of it, make sure they are clear. If you can do a video call, then that’s better.
  • List down all signs and symptoms you think you have like fever, if you’re feeling dizzy, or anything that doesn’t feel right.
  • Ask questions – this gives you a clearer picture on your situation and the treatment that will be given to you.

Final Thoughts

So overall experience is good. If you need to consult with your doctor for any follow-ups or non-emergency concern, like minor wounds, fever, or other symptoms, feel free to consider using a Telehealth application like Medifi, don’t just send an SMS to your physician and ask questions, they didn’t study medicine for almost 10 years for free.

For more Health IT related blog posts, check out the Health IT page. If this helped you, leave a comment below and like our Facebook page.

References:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/telehealth/art-20044878
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_Insurance_Portability_and_Accountability_Act
  3. https://www.privacy.gov.ph/data-privacy-act/

Image Credit:

  1. https://www.medifi.com/

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