Telehealth: A lifeline in uncertain times – for patients prescribed cannabis medicines and those seeking to access these life-changing treatments.

Pierre Van WeperenBlogs

The use of telecommunication techniques in the healthcare sector has gained traction in the past two decades. However, never before has the need for remote access to healthcare been so critically apparent to the wider community. 

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The need to travel in order to see a healthcare provider significantly impacts health outcomes for those outside of the UK’s major cities, and patients with any kind of disability or lower mobility, social anxiety or those that suffer with chronic pain.

With COVID-19 being a huge concern amongst the global population, the importance of telemedicine now and moving into the future is of extreme importance. Many patients with chronic conditions are being told to stay away from their GP Practice, while others have had their long-awaited operations cancelled and are looking for alternative treatment options.

Implementing social distancing seems to be the path forward at this time and while telehealth has relevance to the current medical climate, it is also a powerful tool in our medical arsenal for patients who are immunocompromised or otherwise in ill health and require medical cannabis treatments. 

Irrelevant of the current health crisis, the advent of the medical cannabis landscape in a technologically connected world will allow for this industry, in particular, to take full advantage of the benefits of telehealth.

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth is the use of telecommunication techniques such as phone and video-calls as a means to conduct healthcare services over a distance. This can involve treatment, preventative medicine and education for patients who would otherwise find it difficult to attend a healthcare venue or visit their local GP. Diagnosis, investigation and examination of patients can be more difficult, but for patients who have chronic conditions, and a confirmed diagnosis, Telehealth can be particularly valuable.

In a broader sense, telehealth communication can be used by medical professionals for educational purposes and in cases where numerous practitioners need to collaborate regarding projects or specific patients.

Removing barriers to healthcare through Telehealth

The ability to provide healthcare information and assistance from a distance not only serves those patients that are at a geographical disadvantage but also fills a gap for patients whose social or cultural backgrounds make it difficult to find appropriate and accessible healthcare.

Many patients who are in need or would benefit from medical cannabis have conditions that compromise their immune systems and their ability to visit healthcare venues, thereby impacting their capacity to seek medical treatments. Utilising telehealth can also mean treatment with medical cannabis becomes more affordable for patients.

For example, while bricks and mortar clinics may charge upwards of £250 for an initial consultation, Cannabis Access Clinics offers access to specialists that provide telehealth consultations for £149.

Cannabis Access Clinics also offer a unique “eligibility consult” to assess your case to see if you may be a suitable candidate for cannabis medicines prior to the consultation, saving patients time and money. These are currently free of charge and can be booked in by calling 020 3998 0115.

Additionally, in our time-poor society Telehealth has advantages to both medical professionals who are overburdened and under-resourced, as well as for patients who would otherwise forgo visiting their doctor due to time constraints.

Telehealth for medical cannabis patients

As virus fears permeate our society, it is becoming increasingly clear that telemedicine is a keystone in the future of the healthcare sector. 

Fortunately, the medical cannabis landscape is well placed to accommodate this. Since its inception, Telehealth and online consultations have been integrated into medical cannabis access, particularly in Australia. 

Cannabis Access Clinics, have Telehealth structures already in place with a large number of patient consultations conducted this way for both city and rural patients.

These online services make it simple and easy to be assessed by their team of medical professionals, ascertaining your eligibility for medical cannabis, as well as providing ongoing care and monitoring of conditions and prescriptions.

Benefits of Telehealth in uncertain times 

With the global community in the throes of a viral pandemic, telemedicine is a resource that can be utilised to great benefit, not only in the medical cannabis industry but also in low-risk instances where patients may need medical advice without the physical presence of a medical professional. 

By employing telemedicine in the medical cannabis arena, as well as other sectors, we can facilitate social distancing to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and ease the burden on the wider healthcare sector, whilst still providing patients with necessary treatments that will increase their quality of life, especially in such uncertain times.