Have your tried a virtual consultation?

Have you tried a virtual consultation?

Virtual doctors’ appointments have been becoming increasingly common for a while as they help to make healthcare more convenient.[1][2] With Covid-19 part of all of our lives now, a virtual appointment could be an ideal solution for some situations, in particular by reducing the risk of infection caused by close contact.[3]4 If you can’t get to your doctor, for whatever reason, you may not need to abandon your appointment – you might be able to have one in the comfort of your living room instead, sometimes via a video call facility like FaceTime or Skype.[2]5

6 ways to make a virtual consultation work for you:

1. Find a quiet spot where you won’t be disturbed.6
2. Make notes beforehand with anything you’d like to discuss - be specific about your concerns, symptoms and questions.6
3. Ask your doctor how to securely send through pictures of your skin or swollen joints, and if possible, photos of how they might have changed.5678
4. Try to take pictures in bright, natural light, without makeup, and from a few different angles.6
5. Be prepared to answer questions about your medical history.68
6. Stick to any advice or instructions that you’re given.6

Although you may still need to see a healthcare professional in person, a virtual consultation could give you what you need, including advice, peace of mind and a treatment plan.[2]6

If you have concerns about Covid-19 and receiving biological or immunosuppressant treatment, please speak to your Rheumatologist. You can also visit the South African Rheumatism & Arthritis Assocation at https://www.saraa.co.za for more information.


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National Institute for Clinical Excellence. Psychosis and schizophrenia in adults: prevention and management. 2014. CG178.
APA Clinical Guidelines. American Psychiatric Association. Practice Guidelines for the treatment of patients with schizophrenia. 2004.
Hasan et al. World J Biol Psychiatry 2012; 13: 318─378.