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Fight to see a doctor is getting easier thanks to smartphones, but telemedicine comes with a warning

Last Updated Apr 8, 2019 at 1:56 pm PDT

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Summary

While the popularity of telemedicine is growing, one study out from UBC is raising concerns over some prescriptions

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It can be frustrating and inconvenient to wait to see a doctor, but thanks to the rise of telemedicine, fewer of us are missing work for appointments or skipping the doctor all together.

B.C. looks to be leading the way in this field across Canada, and is the only province that has set up billing codes to pay doctors for smart-phone visits.

That’s probably why Telus chose to launch it’s very own telemedicine service in the province. But it’s not the first of its kind: other private companies have been providing video link services in B.C. for years.

While the popularity of telemedicine is growing — especially in Greater Vancouver — one study out from UBC is raising concerns over the prescription of antibiotics to children.

The study also showed people using telemedicine usually want help with depression and anxiety, contraception, skin and digestion issues.

Researchers have found about two-thirds of users were women, and the average age of someone dialing a doctor was 31 and half years old.

Meantime, a study conducted south of the border looked at 340,000 children and showed kids with acute respiratory infections were more likely to be prescribed antibiotics via the telephone than in person.

-With files from the Canadian Press