excerpted from Time magazine
Online virtual doctor visits are a growing breed of telehealth services beginning to dot the healthcare landscape. Companies such as MDLIVE, American Well, TeleDoc, Google Helpouts, and Doctor on Demand offer virtual care services that are designed to give you immediate access to a doctor so getting medical attention is more convenient and accessible for everybody. This means no more sitting around urgent care waiting rooms full of germs and sick people just to get seen for a minor cold. It also means you don’t have to take a big chunk of time out of work or haul a sick child down to an office to see a doctor. Instead, you can get on your laptop or mobile device and easily have a doctor see you virtually from the comfort of your home or office. Depending on your needs, there are a range of telehealth and telemedicine options out there these days for online doctor consultations.
More Ways to Get Health Care Online
For a quick diagnoses and prescription for something like a cold or yeast infection, Zipnosis offers 5 minute online doctor diagnoses at $25 per illness. You can also get fast answers for your health condition using popular smartphone health apps like AskMD and HealthTap which give you free access to instant doctor answers. Full-fledged live doctor video consultations with primary care physicians, specialists, and therapists are also now available. Virtual care platforms that have these services include MDLIVE ($45/consultation for doctor or therapist), American Well ($49/consultation), TeleDoc ($38/consultation + $150 annual membership fee), Google Helpouts for Health (price set by individual health providers), and celebrity newcomer, Doctor on Demand ($40/consultation). You can check out our list of virtual consultation service reviews here.
Dr. Phil Showcases Online Doctor Video Visits
Even TV health personalities like Dr. Phil are getting into the game. Dr. Phil recently featured the Doctor on Demand telehealth app on his own TV show as well as on The Doctors. In addition, he is one of the funders of Doctor On Demand (along with an impressive list of investors including Venrock, Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, and Athena Health CEO Jonathan Bush). He also sits on its advisory board and happens to be the father of one of the co-founders, Jay McGraw.
Doctor on Demand allows you to see a doctor without being a part of a health plan or employer group. It charges based on time (like lawyers) rather than a per visit fee at a $40 per 15 minutes rate. It also employs doctors to work scheduled shifts rather than having doctors subscribe to the service to see patients whenever they have down time. Its pay model allows physicians get to take home $30, while Doctor on Demand gets a $10 cut. Doctor on Demand consultations are currently available in 31 states, including California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
Video Visits With Your Doctor A Growing Frontier
Even without media hype from Dr. Phil, Dr. Stork, and Dr. Oz, virtual doctor visits are a clearly growing healthcare option. Long touted as a solution to healthcare accessibility for patients in underserved and rural areas, telehealth is also seen as a way to help lower healthcare costs and improve effectiveness, cover doctor shortages anticipated with the Affordable Care Act, and to make healthcare more convenient overall. Furthermore, video doctor visits are also benefiting doctors. According to a recent study, 80% of doctors are using mobile devices in their day-to-day practice, and MedCity reports that “many are choosing to work remotely and consult with patients on video chat services
Are you ready for video chat visits with a doctor?
More Telemedicine Articles…
Business Insider breezy read – “There’s A New App That Will Let You Have A Real Doctor’s Appointment Using Video Chat On Your Smartphone“
Modern Healthcare reports TeleDoc study – “RAND study cites telemedicine benefits: lowers costs, expands access“
Fast Company on Google Helpouts, Google’s new marketplace for healthcare experts – “The Doctor, Veterinarian, and Lactation Specialist Will See You Now—On Video Chat”