Have you ever felt a little under the weather, but didn’t want to take the time to visit the doctor? Well, now you don’t have to – and we’re not talking house calls.
Started in 2010, NowClinic is transforming the delivery of primary health care by giving consumers access to inexpensive, round-the-clock care for routine problems via the Internet and phone.
By talking via instant messenger and then telephone, patients can be diagnosed with minor illnesses, then prescribed medications that they can pick up at their local pharmacy.
Currently available in 22 states, “telemedicine” is viewed favorably by many insurers and large companies and seen as a way to make doctor “visits” more affordable. Consultations can cost as little as $10. It’s also a way of addressing the doctor shortage.
Telemedicine presents many obstacles to overcome, including interstate care that requires a prior doctor-patient relationship and sometimes a prior medical exam. But so far, the reviews of the service have been mostly positive.
This is just another way how new communication technology and healthcare are interacting.