Anyone old enough to remember The Jetsons animated cartoons back in the sixties will recall their seeing their doctor on their computer screens. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rise of telehealth and it has now become available to almost everyone with a smartphone or computer.
How Do Patients Benefit from Telemedicine?
- Seeing an online doctor usually means more convenience: the patient does not have to take time off work, or drive in traffic and find a parking space.
- Patients can see a virtual doctor when needed, instead of having to wait sometimes weeks for an appointment, which increases access to care.
- Better health outcomes when there is not delay in care: delay in care can lead to increased risk of dying, so an online doctor is in a unique position to help. In 2007 the journal Health Services Research reported a study in which patients that had to wait less than 31 days for a doctor’s appointment had a better chance of survival and recovery than patients who had to wait 31 or more days. With telehealth oftentimes the wait is often just minutes.
- The cost of seeing a doctor virtually is significantly lower than an in-person doctor’s visit at a brick and mortar clinic or urgent care.
- It is especially advantageous for patients in remote areas to be able to see a doctor on demand, rather than having to make an appointment to travel long distances into the nearest city with a walk-in-clinic or medical center.
- During the COVID pandemic and flu/cold seasons patients can avoid going into clinics and getting exposed to viruses and other germs.
Telehealth Services in the United States
The United State’s telemedicine market has transformed rapidly. The largest telehealth services are:
- Hey Doctor
- Doctor on Demand
Did you know? QuickMD is a direct-to-consumer telemedicine service that for which patients do not need insurance. We offer rapid access to Ivy-League trained physicians–wherever you are.