A new way of talking to a doctor online called “virtual consultation” is better for nature and is trending. This is at least the finding of a recent study in a journal.
As a result of COVID-19, more patients prefer virtual talks with doctors. But, as healthcare providers work to reduce their carbon footprint, they need to assess whether virtual consultation is better for nature.
Going Green: The Impact of Virtual Consultation on Health Care’s Carbon Footprint
The scholars looked at 1672 papers and chose 23 that talked about various types of virtual consultation tools and platforms used in different cases. By using virtual visits to doctors, patients don’t have to travel as much for face-to-face appts, which is good for nature. Some studies have measured the amount of saved carbon. But using various methods didn’t affect the result – they all showed that virtual talks with doctors reduced carbon emissions.
Previous studies haven’t looked at other key factors, such as the number of virtual visits and their trend. These factors include whether virtual consultation fits the needs of certain patients or health care tasks and whether healthcare providers have the right assets and structure to support virtual talks.
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Scholars need to work more to find how much carbon is emitted throughout the medical process, not just during virtual talks. They also need to look at other eco impacts such as e-waste. As for users and patients, they need to grasp that virtual consultation brings both pros and risks, such as missing core health issues. To make a change, all we need to work with each other and share our thoughts on how we can save nature and take care of the green effect when we need to visit doctors. This should include looking at the issue from various views and drawing on other areas of knowledge.