The COVID-19 outbreak has affected everyone. From the elderly who have been placed in mandatory quarantine, to the children who are stuck at home all day, all of our lives have been interrupted. However, while many businesses have shut down or placed their employees on temporary leave, healthcare professionals are needed now more than ever. But with no public transportation and every minute outside increasing the level of risk, how are doctors and nurses meant to reach their patients? For people in the food allergy community, this is especially important. Food allergies are a very real and prevalent part of our daily lives and working together with our allergists to understand and treat our symptoms is not something that can be put on hold.
Telemedicine, or telehealth, is a term used to describe a situation in which a patient receives healthcare services using technology. In a time like this, with public spaces posing a danger to any number of people, this type of service can be life saving. Additionally, for patients who deal with chronic illnesses or food allergies, having the ability to meet with their doctors – in whatever capacity that may be – can allow them to continue with their meetings and treatments, even from afar.
One of the best parts of modern day technology is the ability that it provides doctors. Many patients today are nervous about coming down with COVID-19, so much so that they are attributing any and all symptoms they experience to the virus. Allergists have found that some patients with food allergies get so nervous about the virus that they are convincing themselves their allergy symptoms are actually from the coronavirus. By having the ability to see patients – even if through a computer screen – doctors are better able to assess situations and help their patients stay safe and healthy.
Keep in mind that a number of allergists began using telemedicine even before the coronavirus outbreak because of it’s real time connection. In times of worry that don’t warrant a trip to the ER, telemedicine is a great option.
Doctors offices and ER’s are filled with COVID-19 patients, making most people worried about going to seek medical attention. Additionally, many private practices are closed to all ‘non-essential appointments’ or working significantly fewer hours. In cases of food allergies, not having the ability to seek medical attention can be dangerous. However, going to the ER during this pandemic can also be dangerous. Given this, having an option like telemedicine can be a great solution. Whether it be used for emergency meetings, or regularly scheduled appointments, having the option to see a doctor is undeniably important.
The last thing you want to do when you fear you may be experiencing an allergic reaction, is guess. Whether it’s guessing if it’ll get much worse, guessing the origin of the attack, or even guessing whether you’re having an attack at all, none of these things should be left up to chance. Having access to a doctor through telemedicine helps ensure that people never have to guess.
There is always research going on in the food allergy world, with people constantly trying to come up with new treatments or cures. At times, years of work and data go into these studies and putting that all on hold can ruin the process and mess with the results. While many will argue that telehealth isn’t the best way to continue with the process, it certainly allows for doctors and researchers to continue monitoring their patients and ensuring the validity of their outcomes.
One of the trickiest parts of going to the ER is the long process. Many people feel that the long wait often doesn’t warrant their symptoms and will thus choose to avoid the hospital all together. However, with telemedicine, the waiting time can be done from the comfort of your own home – if it’s needed at all. The worry about long lines or the rush when you’re running late to an appointment aren’t a factor anymore. Appointments can be held from anywhere with internet access and access to doctors is easier than ever. In a time where the healthcare world is overwhelmed, this is especially important for people who may require medical attention that doesn’t have to do with the pandemic – for example; food allergies.
The COVID-19 outbreak has forced people to come up with creative solutions when it comes to healthcare. With the ER’s overwhelmed, hundreds of doctors in quarantine and healthcare officials busier than ever, traditional healthcare has been all but unavailable. However, telehealth has made huge strides towards bridging the gap that coronavirus left in the healthcare world. While traditional medicine may still require physical contact, a large number of other services have been moved to online platforms. For the food allergy community, this means that research can continue, and allergists can still schedule appointments with their patients.
During our recent visit to Israel, we really struggled to find food for our son who has anaphylactic level allergies to egg and sesame. We approached both restaurants and hotels and were told they were unable or unwilling to take responsibility for preparing his food.
After learning about Dr. Eliana on-line, we contacted her in the hopes that she could provide a ‘normal’ restaurant experience for our family.
Both she and Shani were meticulous in their preparations with the restaurants to ensure that our son had a wonderful and safe experience.
We truly appreciate their efforts to take care of our son, and to provide us with a lovely vacation experience.
T.M., Chicago, USA
We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing gift you have given us over this Pesach- the gift of having you with us!!!!
We have NEVER felt more comfortable, calm, and at ease than we did these past 10 days. Your warmth, professionalism, kindness, and care shown through in all that you did.
My children are so grateful that they were able to be with you this Pesach. You made sure that they were so well looked after and they felt so at ease and comfortable with you! You were so amazing and approachable to them! And they LOVED all the food you so amazingly prepared (supervised allergy-free food preparation, managed menus) for them!
It’s very difficult for us to trust people when it comes to our kids and allergies. You magically were able to take away ALL of our anxieties, and nervousness (and we don’t give that away so easily!!)
We can never fully thank you enough. We truly feel that you instantly became part of our family and we look forward to G-d willing being able to be with you and plan amazing trips with you many many many more times!!!!
Thank you and may Hashem bless you for the work you do. My son Jacob said your allergy card has been very helpful. I am so grateful- beyond words.
L.R., NY, NY
Thank you for delivering our allergy free baked goods to our hotel. We just tasted the focaccia and it was delicious!
All the best,
S.C., New Jersey
We can't thank you enough for assembling this top-notch team of specialists to work with our daughter while she is in Israel.
T.G., Philadelphia, PA
"Food Allergy Concierge assisted us with a very helpful, detailed customized allergy card in Hebrew. The Allergy card was extremely helpful for multiple allergies and allowed us to eat safely in several eateries and hotels. Highly recommended.”
G.A. Illinois USA