Generation Z may have never lived in a world without devices, and so it would seem that telemedicine was made for them. However, according to recent data, only 10% of young people reported experiencing a telemedicine visit before 2020. Today, while the pandemic shifted their, and their parents, attitudes more in favor of telemedicine, 68% stated they would now prefer to have virtual visits utilizing video.
That is good news, especially considering that a virtual physician can easily treat many common conditions affecting children and teens. From mental health concerns to illnesses, telemedicine providers are well-equipped to treat a variety of ailments in a clinical, home, or hospital setting, often providing faster treatment and more focused care.
Depression and anxiety treatment
Depression and anxiety are leading causes of disability among adolescents. According to the CDC, approximately 5.8 million U.S. children have been diagnosed with anxiety and 2.7 million with depression, with numbers increasing year after year. Addressing these conditions as early as possible is critical, and many programs have been established to improve care - including the adoption of telepsychiatry and virtual therapy. Some findings have even indicated that teens prefer virtual visits because they feel more relaxed and experience less embarrassment when sharing their feelings with someone on a screen rather than face-to-face.
ADHD diagnosis and therapy
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of childhood's most common neurobehavioral disorders. With more awareness and treatment options available today, the disorder is usually diagnosed in the elementary years, although therapy could last into adulthood. If left untreated, ADHD can cause issues at home, school, work, and with friends and family. Diagnosing ADHD is a process with several steps. A telemedicine provider is highly qualified to handle many aspects of the medical examination, such as working with the patient to assess and rate symptoms and gather a medical history. If ADHD is diagnosed, a combination of behavior therapy and medication is usually the most recommended treatment, which can be successfully administered through a virtual psychologist, no matter the patient’s location.
Treatment for common viruses
Colds and flu are prevalent, especially in children; however, children younger than five and those immunocompromised are at an increased risk for more severe symptoms. Left untreated, complications from viruses like the flu can result in pneumonia, dehydration, sinus problems, and ear infections. The CDC calculates that from the 2010-2011 to the 2019-2020 flu season, flu-related hospitalizations among children younger than five ranged from 7,000 to 26,000. Virus symptoms often vary from a fever, cough, and sore throat to a runny nose, body aches, and fatigue. Time is of the essence when it comes to treating viral illnesses, which is why many clinics and hospitals have relied on telemedicine to diagnose and recommend remedies for patients. A virtual doctor can usually see a patient faster than an in-person physician, and can prescribe antiviral drugs if needed, leading to faster recoveries. In addition, avoiding hospitals or crowded waiting rooms reduces the chance of catching another illness or spreading the virus to others.
Help with learning disorders
Almost every child struggles in school at some point, but if problems have been persisting for a length of time, it may be a sign of a learning disorder. A learning disorder is defined as when a child has difficulty learning, yet general intelligence or motivation is not impacted. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has created guidelines for helping children overcome these conditions, with healthcare providers playing an essential role. Many school systems and clinics have enlisted the help of telemedicine to identify children who may be in need of intervention and to help with diagnostic or treatment plans. Even schools and clinics in rural areas have access to specialists through virtual options.
Establishing healthy habits
Today in the United States, minors are often less physically active, eating unhealthy food, and not getting enough sleep. The number of youth with obesity is considered one of the most serious public health challenges facing children. With so many conflicting messages floating around, parents often have numerous questions about their child’s developing healthy habits. Healthcare professionals are available to help answer many of these inquiries, but it is often lengthy to schedule an appointment in-person. With a telemedicine provider, parents can receive the information they need, quickly and often without needing to drive long distances to see a nutritional specialist.
The generations and the future of healthcare
Like children, the medical field is always growing. Using technology to treat the generations delivers more promising, more straightforward, and more immediate care. If you would like to learn more about how telemedicine can offer virtual, comprehensive healthcare for every age group, contact VirtualMed and get started.