Are Online Patient Visits in Your Future?
You can give and receive house calls starting today with video conferencing. Here are three examples:
After a wild night, Joe wakes up with a swollen knee. The pain is so great he cannot walk or drive. He opens an app on his phone, types in his symptoms and takes a picture of his knee. Within a few minutes, he has a video chat with a physician who says it’s probably dislocated and that he needs an MRI. He helps Joe schedule the MRI and signs off. Joe uses his credit card to pay $40 and the doctor earns $30.
Sarah’s wisdom tooth was pulled during her morning dental visit. By lunch, she realizes her extraction point is bleeding non-stop. She is worried because she has a blood condition and so calls her dental office. The receptionist texts a link to Sarah’s cell phone and she clicks it. Her dentist is on the screen and asks her to show him the problem. He then helps her put on a pad of gauze, gives her instructions and asks her to call back in a few hours. The patient is relieved and delighted. The service is free to the patient and the dentist.
A baby wakes up the family at 4:00 AM with his loud uncontrollable coughing. His mom logs into her account and gets a pediatrician on her laptop screen. She shows the baby to the doctor who asks questions including if the room temperature had a big change. Yes, a window was left open and the temperature had dropped to 55 degrees. As the baby warms up, the coughing stops. Everyone is relieved. The mom pays $79 per month for unlimited pediatric video calls. The doctor is paid $12,000 per month for a 30-hour work week.
You can participate in the video healthcare world in three different ways.
1. Online Medical Care
As a physician, you can supplement your income or even build your practice with companies like Doctor on Demand (www.doctorondemand.com), HealthTap (www.healthtap.com), Amwell (www.amwell.com) or Teladoc (www.teladoc.com). You can work flexible shifts and earn more than $200,000 per year working from any location you chose. You can build your practice with new patients you meet through the system. Your own patients can use the system to visit with you, as well.
As a patient, you can quickly see a physician through any of these companies, from the comfort of your own home, day or night. Your online doctor can even send a prescription to your drug store (not narcotics or pain medication). If your insurance plan does not offer this service, it may reimburse you for it.
2. Create Your Own System
As a physician, you or your group can set up your own telemedicine system with companies like Emerge.MD (www.emergemed.com). They provide you with a HIPAA-compliant video conferencing system, a login system for your patients, credit card collection, scheduling, prescribing and more. The system works on any device with a camera and an internet connection. No software needed.
3. Use a Free HIPAA-Compliant Video System to Video Chat with Your Patients
Every type of healthcare provider can use Doxy.me (doxy.me without www. or .com) to communicate with patients at no charge. You simply give your patient a web address and schedule an appointment.
The patient does not need to download any software nor create a user account. He or she just needs a Chrome or Firefox browser, an internet connection and a camera. Doxy.me works best with a laptop, but can be used on Android devices (Apple app coming soon). The patient clicks your link and you start the visit. Although internet video-call technology is constantly improving, it still has grainy images and jerky motions.
Doxy.me keeps track of your meeting history including the dates, times, durations, patient names and any notes you wish to include. You can charge the patient for the video calls or provide it free of charge.
Check it out!