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In c/Promoted Thursday : September 10, 2020

The Current State of Virtual Healthcare








In the past, virtual health healthcare was considered an alternative for those who were too busy
to go to the doctors office for a check. However, the views and opinions towards virtual
healthcare are slowly changing in the wake of the coronavirus.

In this article, you will learn more about virtual health and its current state today. Knowing these
details will help you get information whether you should make virtual health care as an option or
whether you should stick to traditional healthcare.

What is virtual healthcare?

Many people think that virtual healthcare and telehealth is one and the same. However, they are
not. Virtual healthcare is under the broad umbrella of telehealth.

Virtual healthcare refers to the virtual visit between clinicians and patients using mediums of
communication technology i.e. audio and video messaging. The virtual visit can be done from
any location at real time. An example of this is the video conference between a doctor from a
hospital and a patient who is at home.

Virtual healthcare is very advantageous for patients who have mobility problems. Instead of
going to the hospital and spending time waiting for their turn, they can just have the consultation
through virtual means.

Another advantage of virtual healthcare is that the second opinion is more accessible. Even if
the specialist that you want to consult lives in another state, getting their opinion about your
condition can be easier when virtual healthcare is involved.

Aside from that, virtual healthcare enables easier and more convenient ways of monitoring the
condition of patients with chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. Individuals with
these conditions are prone to rehospitalization, and this calls for consistent monitoring and follow ups.

The Current State of Virtual Healthcare

According to a study conducted by the American Medical Association in 2018, 15% of doctors in
the United States use telemedicine. In 2019, that number has increased to 22%. Today, since
the world is facing the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of doctors who utilize telemedicine has
skyrocketed. So, what does this mean for virtual healthcare?

This means that many doctors and patients are now opting to conduct consultation through
virtual healthcare. This is because it helps protect patients who are immunocompromised from
being exposed to a hospital environment which has high risk of infection for COVID-19. It also
enables hospitals and patients to adhere to strict social distancing as a measure against
contracting the infection.

In the past, virtual healthcare was considered an alternative. Only a few people consider it
despite most medical practices offering telehealth services. Today, virtual health is gaining more
popularity and it has become more than just an option.

If the pandemic continues in the following months, the demand for virtual health care will
continue to grow. In fact, this demand will be on the entire telehealth industry.

Access to Virtual Healthcare

Today, there are three different ways that one can access virtual health care. They include:

  1. Through the doctors office
Your current physician may offer virtual healthcare services. The nice thing about them offering
virtual healthcare services is that the chances of it being covered by your insurance is high. Be
sure to contact your doctor if you are uncertain whether they conduct virtual healthcare.

  2. Through the insurance company
Prominent insurance companies in the United States such as Humana, Aetna, Signa, United
Healthcare and BCBS provide coverage for virtual healthcare services. Consult your insurance
company to find out the virtual healthcare platforms that they are affiliated with.

  3. By enrolling in a telemedicine platform
The quickest way to get access to virtual healthcare is by directly enrolling in various
telemedicine platforms. However, be informed that signing up for virtual healthcare directly from
these services will cost you more from your own pocket.

Typically, it can cost between $30 to $50 dollars to get virtual healthcare via chat per hour. The
price for video virtual healthcare can be around $40 to $100 dollars per hour.

Established Telehealth Companies You Should Know About

Since telehealth is a new industry, there is not much available information about telemedicine
companies. The following telehealth companies are some of the most well-established service
providers in the industry.

Amwell

Amwell helps health insurance companies and hospitals launch their own telehealth platforms.
One of their previous works is the Express Care of Cleveland Clinic and the Live Health
Online of Anthem. They have their own platform, the Amwell app which patients can enroll in to
get access to pediatric, nutritional health, behavioral health, urgent care and many more.

DoctorSpring
DoctorSpring provides its customers with medical expertise by connecting them with
professionals through phone, chat or video calls. Something that stands out about this company
is that their services are available 24/7. For this reason, you can be assured to connect with a
physician all-around-the clock, which is a great thing. They also have a specialist second
opinion platform which is ranked among top 5 in the world.

Doctors On Demand
In just a few minutes, you will be connected to a doctor through Doctors on Demand. This
company offers a wide range of services such as preventative health, chronic care, behavioral
health and urgent care. They are also affiliated with various health insurance providers. Hence,
this may be one the most cost-effective companies out there.

Ro
Ro is a platform that focuses on three digital health services; Roman, Rory and Zero. Like other
platforms, it helps you connect with experts that can help manage your conditions. Ro is special
because they have an in-house pharmacy where you can get your prescriptions from.

Although virtual healthcare is an accessible way of getting medical attention, it does not replace
in-person physician care. However, due to the circumstances of today, it can be considered as a
good complement for the overall care of the patient.

Virtual healthcare can be good for minor issues and therapy sessions. Nonetheless, it is
advisable to take follow up consultation in hospitals so that you can get the necessary
laboratory tests to confirm your diagnosis. If you are considering virtual healthcare, the first step
is to consult your primary physician whether doing so is good for you.

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