Doctors Do House Calls by Video Chat

Photo by Laughing Squid

With your life racing at break neck speed, chances are you don’t have time to sit all day in a doctor’s office. Enter the high tech house call, where from the convenience of the computer in your home or office you have a video appointment with a doctor. You talk about your health problem via web cam and he prescribes medicine right then and there. No in-person appointment necessary.

Doctors Express, (previously mentioned here, here and here) the first ever national franchise of urgent cares, is test piloting this new technology called MeMD – a high tech and convenient way for patients to “see” a doctor and have him prescribe medicine without going into the office for a physical exam. It’s one more way Doctors Express Urgent Care Centers are answering the country’s demand for quick, convenient and affordable health care.

“We want to be at the forefront of virtual healthcare technology,” says Dr. Scott Burger, co-founder of Doctors Express who is using MeMD in his urgent care facility in Towson, MD. “MeMD is for patients who wants the opinion of a doctor but don’t have the time or aren’t sure their medical issue is critical enough to go in and see the doctor.”

How It Works

Say your son has a rash and you want to know if it’s serious, but you’re not able to bring him into see the doctor right away. You would connect with the system online and it will direct you to a Doctor’s Express office, or another office that is a provider of MeMD services. A Doctors Express physician will receive a notice on their office computer that a patient is waiting. The doctor and patient are connected by a PC Web Cam. The parent can then chat with the doctor and show him the rash. The doctor can then make the assessment as to: get to a Doctors Express or your physician right away, go to an ER, get a topical first aid cream at the pharmacy, or don’t worry about it, etc….

“Virtual visits can never completely replace the care of a physical examination,” says Dr. Burger. However, it is a valuable resource for patients who know what they’re suffering from and want a quick consult and prescription for minor ailments such as sinus infections and rashes. If we can’t diagnose the problem via webcam, we ask the patient to come in. We don’t take any chances.”

Benefits Of MeMD

  • Provides convenience to patients, especially those in rural areas.
  • Great for patients looking for a second opinion.
  • Saves the patient commuting time and gas money – visit your doctor during your lunch break without having to leave the office or your home.
  • Physicians can consult patients AND E-PRESCRIBE – prescribe medicine over the internet and can pick up the prescription at their local pharmacy.
  • Cost–effective for patients and businesses – The cost to patients for this service is $40. If they are local and come into the Doctors Express for additional treatment, Doctors Express will apply that $40 towards the patient’s co-pay, co-insurance or deductible.
  • If you dial into the internet and you wait more than sixteen minutes, Doctors Express will automatically connect you with another provider. They’ll lose your business and give you to another doctor’s office so you get “seen” quickly.

Photo by Laughing Squid.

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