I’m starting to see this offered in more and more places. Telemedicine. Companies such as MDLive are partnering up with board-certified physicians and connecting them to people in need of seeing a doctor. These virtual doctor visits are done through video chats using their phone, tablet or computer.
Recently, I watched a video about how Walgreens is now piloting telemedicine through their app in Michigan and California. The first time I heard about the benefits of telemedicine was in 2008 when trauma docs were using telemedicine to stabilize severely injured patients before transferring them to a larger facility. Fast forward six years where 58% of the adult population owns smartphones, and what you have is the ability to “see” a doctor immediately without even needing to leave your house. Not only will it save you them time and gas money, but these virtual doctor visits cost about half as much as an in person visit (MDLive visit is $49 compared to the average cost of an office visit of $100).
I imagine there will be some hiccups, such as internet bandwidth, video resolutions and getting your insurance company to cover your virtual visit, but you can’t beat the convenience of talking live with a doctor at the press of a button, day or night.