Copyright 2017. All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Doctors visit over the phone

(Shutterstock image)

This is how it looks when we see the doctor. 

But did you know that you can "see" your doctor without leaving your home? Wait.....what?

 You don't have to drive to their office - you can see and talk to them through a smart phone or ipad! (It's like Facetime - where you see and talk to the other person). There are many private companies and even hospital systems that are getting on board now.

I learned about Doctor on Demand while at an asthma conference sponsored by Allergy & Asthma Network last fall.

One of the doctors showed us how it works. You can watch a short video that shows how it works on the website for Doctor on Demand. 

What a smart idea! Since then, I have seen 2 of our hospitals here advertising the same thing. There are times when I am so sick, I can't drive myself to the doctor (and no one else is home to drive me.) It would have been a nice idea when I had my concussion and I had to drive myself to the doctor! Or when I had a migraine and REALLY needed some anti nausea medicine.

Here's another example from a hospital I found called MountainStar

And it looks like most visits don't cost much more than a typical co-pay. One advertised $49 per visit. I know several people who have REALLY high deductibles on their insurance ($3,000 per family.) So, it is less expensive for them to pay the $49 than it would for a $125 office visit.

I think it's a great idea if you have something simple to treat like strep throat or pink eye. But what if you end up in a small local hospital and you are VERY sick and need a specialist?  Did you know that many doctors across the country (including Intermountain Healthcare ) are working with small hospitals to offer their help via computer? 

They can listen to a patient's lungs with a digital stethoscope. A nurse in the smaller hospital uses the digital stethoscope on the patient, and the specialist hundreds of miles away can use audio and video hardware to hear the lungs!  

They can also watch an EKG to see if someone is having heart problems, or the EEG to check a patient's brain waves. They can see all of the machines that the patient is hooked up to and help the local doctors who don't specialize in a certain disease.

Seriously....I can't keep up with technology! I am feeling really smart when I can Facetime my daughter when I am traveling for work. Even if it took me a while to figure out how it worked...

Check around and see what is available in your area. Maybe your doctor offers virtual visits when you are too busy or too sick to drive to the doctor's office. And they even call in the prescription for you too!

And kudos to the specialist who back up the small town doctors who need a little extra help!

What will they think of next?




  1. Hi Andrea, I am the founder of one of our goals is to connect the hospital to the home through our Suite of tools. We recently launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise money to finish our suite of tools that will improve the lives of those living with asthma. One of our tools is a predictive device that can give early warnings to parents when their child is at risk of having an asthma attack. Reach out to me if you would like to learn more.