What equipment do I need for a successful online doctor visit?

Suppose it is your first time engaging in an online doctor visit. In that case, it is important to be prepared with the right equipment and even a little technical knowledge to ensure that your online visit will go smoothly and to maximize the convenience the telemedicine platform delivers to patients nationwide and even worldwide. Being prepared would save you money since you can finish your consultation within the allotted time with no extra charges. 

equipment needed for online doctor visit

You don’t need industrial quality devices for your online doctor visit to be successful. Some require the minimum, such as a mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop with a built-in camera and microphone and an internet connection. But to ensure a successful outcome for your online doctor visit, you must secure the following:

  • Wired Internet Connection or Strong WiFi Connection: You can do successful virtual visits with a WiFi connection as long as it is strong, continuous, fast, and reliable. You wouldn’t want either you or your doctor to be a blur, lag, or be dropped during the online consultation visit. With a wired connection, you can be sure to have a steady internet for the entire duration of your online visit. 
  • High-Quality Camera: This could be built-in on your device, or you could connect one that would be able to deliver much clearer videos to your doctor. It is important so that the experience would be very similar to an in-office visit. If your camera is high quality, no details would be missed, and your interaction with each other would not be stressful as you won’t have to keep asking if your provider can see you. 
  • High-Quality Microphone and Speakers: It is not only important that you see each other. It is equally important that you correctly hear what your doctor is telling you and that your doctor can also clearly hear and understand what you are talking about. It can determine your virtual visit; one wrong pick-up of information could affect the outcome of your diagnosis and treatment. 
  • Fully-charged or plugged-in mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop that you will use during the online visit. This is to have your device perform at its maximum capacity and to avoid being cut-off in the middle of the online visit. 
  • Compliance with your provider’s browser or operating system requirement: This is also important because compatibility issues would greatly affect the program’s flow and function for the virtual visit. This is true especially with providers that have downloadable applications or who have a pre-determined video-conferencing software to be used. 
  • Screensharing capable device: This is not entirely necessary but may come in handy when your doctor wants to show you documents, photos, laboratory results, and other files that may help you understand more comprehensively your medical case as well as your doctor’s findings, diagnosis, and prescription. 

The above-enumerated equipment is all you need for your online consultation to be a success. If you need to take the extra step to make sure that everything goes perfectly, you might want to do the following before your online visit: 

OMS FAQ - virtual doc visit equipment - fact
  • Days before your scheduled online visit, check your camera’s video quality first and inform your provider if that would be sufficient or if you would need to provide a higher quality camera than what you already have.
  • Ensure that the cameras are set-up correctly, preferably at eye-level, as you would like to engage in a conversation with your online doctor completely. 
  • Do a sound check of your audio device and microphone before your online consultation to ensure that other parties in a video-conference can hear you. 
  • Set reminders so you won’t forget or miss your appointment. 
  • Set-up everything in a quiet and well-lit room where there are a strong internet connection and position yourself comfortably. 
  • Make sure that your device is only running the program needed for your virtual visit, with no interfering programs running in the background that affect your device’s video and audio performance.
  • Relieve yourself or your child, if you are seeing a pediatrician, in the bathroom before your online appointment so that you can avoid bathroom breaks during the live video and maximize the time you paid for. 

Many people have second-thoughts with consulting doctors online, thinking that it would require a lot of equipment and would cost them more money than in-office visits. If your medical case falls within the common and ordinary range, all you need to prepare is the equipment mentioned above. However, medical cases require additional equipment or devices for the online doctor to examine and diagnose the patient fully. Some examples of this equipment and instance when they would be needed are as follows: 

  • Thermometer – This is already a staple device in almost all households that could determine your temperature. Fever or high temperature is usually one of the symptoms of various illnesses, so most online doctors would require you to record your temperature from time to time. 
  • Digital OtoscopeEar doctors use this device to inspect the inside, middle, and outer parts of the ear. This is essential to see signs of possible ear infections and other issues. 
  • Virtual stethoscopes – These are like regular stethoscopes that have audio recording capabilities. You can put it over your lungs, heart, and stomach, and the recorded audio will then be transmitted to your online doctor, who will be able to determine if there are irregular patterns in your heartbeat, breathing, or in your stomach. 
  • Pulse Oximeter – This measures the pulse, heart rate, and oxygen level in the patient’s blood. 
  • Weighing Scale – This measures weight and is mostly used in weight management programs. 
  • Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) – This device measures the blood sugar levels of an individual. It is very helpful in online diabetes care.
Now that you are prepared for your online doctor visit, you need to FIND the best online doctor for your specific medical needs. Whether it be for dental assistance or you are dealing with a sick child, we’ve got you covered.

OMS Presents: The 14 Best Online Doctors in 2021