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Telemedicine is a subset of telehealth, which basically includes any electronic transfer of medical information. Specifically, telemedicine allows patients, doctors and experts to interact online in order to discuss symptoms, make a diagnosis and/or write a prescription.
In simpler terms, telemedicine allows you to see your doctor without having to leave the comfort of your home. The appointment itself can different forms depending on the reason for the visit. For example, you may be on the phone, in a video chat or using a messaging app.
You may be typing questions and responses to your doctor in a messaging platform, talking to your doctor over the phone or interacting face-to-face through online video software. Unless your doctor is able to call you and make diagnosis via the phone, you'll most likely need a computer, smartphone or tablet along with reliable internet access to complete a remote doctor visit.
Ultimately, with the right technology, telemedicine can work just like a regular doctor's appointment. Just be sure to clearly communicate with your doctor during a remote visit to ensure they have all the information they need to make a diagnosis.
If there's a doctor familiar with your medical history that you visit regularly, you may be able to contact his or her office directly to set up a telemedicine appointment. "Right now, I think they're really fans of it," Clark says of family doctors. "If you have a doctor, he or she may be willing to do a telemedicine kind of thing."
Depending on your needs, your doctor may be willing to schedule a call or video chat in place of an in-person visit. Aside from your primary physician, here are five places to schedule a telemedicine appointment:
This company provides easy access to doctors from your home using the web, mobile apps or the phone by calling 1-844-SEE-DOCS. You can see the wide range of insurance plans that are accepted by Amwell here. Otherwise, a standard visit costs $69.
Depending on the company you go through (or your primary doctor's fees) you can expect to pay between $50 and $80 for a standard visit without insurance. Compared to seeing an in-person doctor, the out-of-pocket price is significantly cheaper.
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Have you ever used telemedicine to see a doctor remotely? Let us know how your experience went in the comments below!