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EMA Care Blog

Our Blog covers recent, relevant and helpful health and healthcare news

Telemedicine, Thermometers, and Coronavirus

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diTelemedicine refers to the practice of caring for patients remotely when the provider and patient are not physically present with each other. The technology for telemedicine is constantly evolving and it is allowing more and more people to be able to use telemedicine. 

Telemedicine is especially useful during the time of a global pandemic. Many people are at high risk of getting many diseases, including the Coronavirus. These groups of people stay at home and do not have access to the quality of medical care that they would normally receive. Telemedicine allows these people to receive good quality healthcare without risking their health. 

Telemedicine is very useful, especially when the patients can give the physicians some accurate information that they can use to make an exact diagnosis. We recommend that every house hold should have a few basic things.

Thermometer gun vs thermometer

Ever since the Coronavirus outbreak, as a precautionary measure, people have been routinely checking their temperature. There are temperature checks at airports, malls, stores, offices, and some people have even been taking their temperature at home regularly. Many households have a standard mercury thermometer, but now many people also have an infrared thermometer gun.

The Thermometer gun is equipped with an infrared sensor that can measure surface temperature without making any contact with a person’s skin. While these guns are fast, according to the experts, they aren’t always accurate. The thermometer gun is easily affected by wind and other external factors, which ultimately make it inaccurate.  

In addition, there is a new trend of taking the temperature by pointing the gun at one’s arm. This is completely inaccurate and will not give you proper results. This trend started when the Minisity of Health required all stores to check the body temperature of everyone entering their store.Business therefore hired guards who sat at the stores entrance a to take peoples temperatures weren’t wearing masks, and they were getting very close to people while using the thermometer gun. The public was very upset and uncomfortable about this situation, so instead of having the people taking the temperatures wear masks. they decided to point the gun at people’s arms. 

The arm isn’t core body temperature, the core temperature comes from one’s head/chest. The arm’s temperature is easily affected by physical activity, heat, and wind. Therefore, taking one’s temperature from the arm isn’t accurate at all!

Verdict: Use a mecury thermometer and not a thermometer gun. They take longer to use but they are much more accurate.

Pulse Oximeter

A pulse oximeter is a non-invasive device that monitors a person’s oxygen levels in their blood.  Beams of light from the device pass through the blood in your finger and measure your oxygen. This device can be purchased at any pharmacy and it is very easy to use. One simply needs to  insert their finger into the device and turn it on. 

If you have respiratory disease (like Coronavirus), your blood oxygen levels may be lower than normal. Therefore, a pulse oximeter is a great way to see if you may have Coronavirus. Those who were admitted into the hospital for Coronavirus had an oxygen level below 94%. Having an oxygen level of below 90% can cause damage to one’s body requires oxygen therapy.  

Pulse oximeters are considered to be quite accurate; with an accuracy range of 2% from your oxygen levels. For example: if your oxygen saturation reads 92% on the pulse oximeter, it may be anywhere between 90% - 94%.  It’s important to note that the pulse oximeter can be less accurate if one is wearing nail polish or artificial nails. 

Verdict: Pulse oximeters are relatively inexpensive, accurate and painless

Blood pressure monitor cuff

Blood pressure monitoring is essential for many people, especially those who have heart disease or high blood pressure. While using a blood pressure cuff, be still, don’t smoke or exercise within half an hour before measuring your blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is between 80-120. Using a blood pressure device can be useful information to share with a physician during a telemedicine appointment. 

Stethoscope kits

Many people have been buying stethoscope kits which come with a stethoscope and a blood pressure cuff. According to Dr. Johnathan Marcus, a Coronavirus expert and an intensivist specialist in Florida, the telemedicine stethoscope kits aren’t accurate. They pick up too much noise and therefore aren’t good for use. For more info from Dr. Marcus – check out our video.

Conclusion

We recommend that if someone is high-risk and staying at home to prevent themselves from getting the Coronavirus, then they should purchase these devices and use them during telemedicine appointments. This information can be useful to a physician or doctor that is taking care of you, and it can help the doctors be more accurate and precise. 

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