Going to a medical clinic online can be a daunting task. We have all read scary articles on individuals using an unregulated provider and ending up with terrible consequences. However, there are many reasons an online service can be advantageous as well. In this article we weigh the pitfalls against the advantages of using an online service.
Online clinics are not new phenomena. In fact, one of the most renowned clinics has been operating since 2003. Initially, it was set up for individuals who required treatments for concerns that could cause embarrassment – such as erectile dysfunction. However, it soon became evident that individuals who had mobility issues, who lived in isolated parts of the country and those who had hectic lives could also benefit from online clinics. As a result, many clinics started to treat obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol.
Unfortunately, the popularity of this market also meant that charlatans saw an opportunity to produce and sell counterfeit and ineffective products. These products and the consequences of using them were not only portrayed in the media, but also researched by regulatory bodies. The main results suggested that counterfeit products and herbal remedies both contained harmful substances like printer ink, paint and talcum powder. In addition to that, many of the products contained either too high or too low dosages of the active ingredient. You can read about the most prominent FDA investigation here.
Given the alarming results from the researchers, it is not surprising that many individuals would have been hesitant towards using online clinics. Yet, it is hard to dispute how easy it is to recognise good providers online for individuals who know what to look for.
For instance, whilst most individuals have attempted to diagnose themselves online, really good online clinics offer consultations with doctors who can prescribe correct medications and explain whether all treatments are really useful. Similarly, whilst online shams tend to advertise medications without backing up their claims, really good clinics provide reference numbers to their regulators and addresses to their pharmacies. All UK online clinics must be licensed by the Care Quality Commission and all pharmacies must be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council.
Yet, it could be argued that all of these services come at a price that is higher than would be expected by going to a face-to-face consultation with a doctor. On the other hand, there is scope to compare prices online for both face-to-face consultations and online clinics. There are also comparison websites for online clinics like there are for almost any other service these days.
Based on the above, it is clear that online clinics provide convenient, fast and face-saving services for a broad range of health concerns. Good clinics take measures to ensure that the medications are the most suitable for the patient, and that patients receive a consultation with a registered and regulated doctor. This may cost a bit more than visiting a GP surgery, but then again can you really put a price on avoiding waiting rooms and queues in the pharmacy?
You can visit the original online clinic by clicking on this link. Have a look for the trust marks that I mentioned above. You will see exactly what to look out for. We are not saying that you should use this clinic as there are others to choose from (see the price comparison link that we added above) and we do not endorse commercial organisations but this one is a good example of what you should be looking for in a trustworthy medical website.