The Avatar will see you now II

March 26th, 2009 | Sources: Wall Street Journal

Subjects: ,

In January, the Hawaii Medical Service Association began offering Internet-based “house calls” in which physicians communicate with patients using streaming video, text chat or phone.

HMSA-covered patients pay $10 for a 10-minute exchange but anyone can get the same 10 minutes in heaven for $45.

Boston-based American Well is choreographing that show, and now other companies have entered the market.

swiftmd The Avatar will see you now IISwiftMD offers services in the New York-New Jersey area and TelaDoc is giving it a go in Dallas.

They all have immediate plans to expand, according to the Wall Street Journal.

teladoc The Avatar will see you now IIThey have to be careful though since physicians’ licenses to practice medicine are good only for the issuing state.

And the scope of practice matter is dicey for the new tool, so the companies are going slowly.

SwiftMD for example lists on its site the ailments in its wheelhouse: allergies, colds and flu, rashes, things like that.

The very young and very old are not eligible, nor are those with pregnancy-related issues or serious mental health issues like psychoses.

morningrounds 300x295 The Avatar will see you now IIBig Apple resident Leah Light received a subscription to SwiftMD as a gift from her mom.

Light takes prescription meds for an anxiety disorder.

She recently used the service to refill her prescription.

The online visit lasted 55 minutes and cost $55 with a discount.

 Last time she did things the old fashioned way. The doctor visit was time-consuming and set back the uninsured graduate student $260.

“I feel reassured (that) if I need to talk to a doctor, I can without having to blow my food budget for a month,” Light told the Journal. “It makes me feel a lot better.”


 

Comments

  1. mikey_McConkey | 26/03/09

    I’ve used the TelaDoc service…it cost me $35 for unlimited time on phone with a real Doc. At the time I was without insurance, I had to work and I couldn’t take any time off from work to rest. I called TelaDoc and I was taken care of in a matter of minutes, not hours. I was prescribed a Z-Pack and they called my prescription into the pharmacy that was right across the street from my office. It’s a great service, I highly recommend it!

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