Online Doctor Consultations Vs. In-Person Visits: Which One Is Right for You?


The healthcare industry is expanding faster with the adoption of modern technology. Several new technologies are available, such as wearable technology or virtual records. But out of all, digital health monitoring tools have a massive impact on the current age.

After the pandemic, people prefer online doctor consultations, not in-person visits. But there is a growing concern among people who need help to rely on online medical consultations. This article will provide insight into the distinction between the two.

What Is Online Doctor Consultation?

Online doctor consultations or telemedicine offers healthcare by using modern communication technologies. It uses appliances such as mobiles, computers, and other necessary software. It brings quality healthcare to everyone through a virtual platform. It aims to make healthcare services accessible to all.

Forms of Online Consultation

There are four forms of online doctor consultation. Those are as follows:

Live Video Conference

It is also known as synchronous telehealth. It is a two-way communication that facilitates a conversation between the patients and the doctors. It enables getting urgent advice from experts easily. It is also among the most common forms of online dr consultation today.

Remote Patient Monitoring

Here, the doctors check the patient's health using an electronic device. It tracks all sorts of clinical signs in the body, and doctors can check it from that device. It sends all the data and compiles it to the healthcare provider, who then analyzes it to offer appropriate care.

It is one of the most suitable types of care for those with chronic conditions. It is also appropriate for senior citizens for whom travelling back and forth is problematic.

Store-and-Forward Telemedicine

It is also referred to as asynchronous virtual care. They send a patient's records to another source for further assessment. The data that the other party receives goes straight to the cloud-based platform.

This data usually contains demographic data or medical history, and it also includes the reports and diagnosis results of the patients. It has been the best online medical consultation for all those residing in rural areas.

Mobile Health

Many healthcare providers have now started referring healthcare software to their patients. You can now use your smartwatch or mobile phone to keep track of various vitals such as pulse or heart rate. Its main aim is to keep it easy for patients to use and focus on their healthcare.

Benefits of In-person Visits

Following are some of the benefits of in-person doctor visits:

Conducting Routine Assessment

In an in-person visit, the doctor can conduct various tests without obstructions. Specific tests also need a doctor's presence and tools, which is only possible through an in-person visit. It can also help patients carry out all the necessary tests, making it much more convenient.

Good Rapport Between Patient and Doctor

No online dr consultation can ever match the personal experience one has. It allows them to speak out their worries in a much safer space, and they are not put on a time limit. It also encourages a bond between the two parties, allowing patients to have more faith in the health care provider.

Reimbursement and Billing

Specific insurance policies cover only the costs of in-person consultations and treatment. It can be challenging to get reimbursement for online doctor consultations.

Limitations of In-person Visits:

The following are the limitations of in-person consultations:

Patients with Mobility Issues

Senior citizens or patients with disabilities are not the only ones with issues. It is also a significant concern for working adults who must take time off for routine check-ups. For them, an online doctor chat is a more workable way.

Troublesome Waiting Times

Patients not only have to spend time travelling to the doctor but also have to wait a long time. Sometimes it is more than the time for consultation, and it can be a hassle for many.

Risk of Infection

During the pandemic, in-person visits were a threat due to the high spread of COVID-19. It is also a factor with various other health issues that one may have and can spread to others, and that is why online consultation is the best way to cut it.

Pros of Online Consultation

Online consultation is beneficial in the following ways:

Limited Risk of Infection

With COVID-19 being contagious, the use of telemedicine became essential. Telemedicine can eliminate all such risks and prevent patients with immunodeficiency from any infection.

Better Clinical Workflow and Waiting Period

Patients don't need to wait in long queues. Just log into your account and start the teleconsultation. It also reduces the chances of cancellation. You can even receive immediate feedback from the experts. It also lets you interact from the comfort of your home.

Elimination of Travel Costs

With virtual consultation, you no longer have to travel long distances to consult the doctor; you only need a device and a proper internet connection.

Comfortable for Patients with Mobility Issues

It is the most convenient choice for senior citizens or people with disabilities. They no longer have to travel and can get all the necessary care at home. It can also save them money.

Cons of Online Consultation

The following are the cons of online consultation:

Technical Hurdles

Those not well versed with technology can face issues with such a form of consultation. It can also be challenging for people belonging to areas with poor internet connection.

Unavailability of Physical Examination

With video conferencing, you can get high-quality pictures through to the doctor. But it cannot replace the physical assessment, and it cannot give the doctor the correct estimation of your vitals that requires touch. It is only possible through face-to-face interaction.

Security Concerns

In teleconsultation, patients share a lot of intimation information with the doctors. It stays on the internet, which any scammers can access, making their data readily available.


Telemedicine is a viable form of consultation for all. But it is successful only in some situations. It is advisable for those who are struggling with travel or old age citizens. Telemedicine is one of the best options for those who live far away. However, it may not suit those living in areas with poor connections or needing immediate medical attention. But with the rise of technology, it will be the most suitable form of medical consultation.