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Call Your Doctor Online: The Future of Medicine?

The medical blogosphere is full of articles dedicated to the pros and cons of online consultation and e-health. I’ve also written tons of posts about online docs. If you’re a patient, would you like to find a doctor online when you have a medical question? If you’re a doctor, would you like to run an online medical practice?

Now I tried to collect the best sites and services that are based on e-visit or maintain virtual offices/practices. Let me know if you know more.

  • Who else could be a better example than Jay Parkinson, the first really online physician?


He is the chief medical officer at Myca and is working on a new project called Hello Health:

Hello Health is a friendly, branded consumer experience with your accessible neighborhood doctor. We see you in person. We talk with you via the internet. We’re close to home and we’re an email, SMS, or IM away. We take the pain out of going to the doctor. We’re partners with you.

  • Ask Medical Doctor is the second service I would like to share with you. You can ask a medical question and qualified physicians will answer it for free.

  • Medindia: It has currently over 1000 doctors listed on its panel. Doctors will provide you with an online solution to your problem. They do not sell prescription drugs but can give you advice and recommendation on their effectiveness. It’s not for free…

  • American Well: Talk to a doctor anytime, without leaving home or scheduling an appointment. Choose from a variety of specialties and connect with the doctor who is right for you.

  • Medem: “The iHealth service is the first and only suite of fully integrated web-based physician-patient communication services that are proven to effectively engage patients in better managing their health. This comprehensive service can be used by all stakeholders in healthcare — patients, their doctors, hospitals and health systems, health plans, employers, allied professionals and caregivers.”

  • Relay Health: ” RelayHealth is an intelligent network with solutions that improve clinical communication, accelerate care delivery, and drive cash collection by connecting patients, providers, pharmacies, payors and financial institutions. At RelayHealth, we possess unique channel strength across all key segments of healthcare with established leadership in real-time transactions processing, a strong portfolio of transactional businesses, and the stability, trustworthiness, and resources of proven organizations.”

The Spanish Society for Family and Community Medicine (FYC) and the Coalition for Citizens with Chronic Illnesses has setup a service for Spanish teenagers to virtually visit a real doctor in Second Life, the 3D online virtual world. The goal is to provide a space where embarrassing issues can be raised in privacy, without the blushing of a face to face consultation.

  • Consult a Doctor: Consult A Doctor’s mission is to improve health and reduce health care costs by creating innovative consumer-driven health care solutions for employers and individuals that meet their health care needs of today and tomorrow.

  • Healthcare Magic: HealthcareMagic is the world’s first portal allowing a live interaction between doctors and patients over Internet and phone, allowing integrated comparison shopping for health related products and services. HealthcareMagic enables patients, families and friends to share their experiences with a healthcare provider like doctors and hospitals, to research and purchase health care products and services with the same ease and transparency as shopping for other products online.


These services and projects will play a more than important role in the future of medicine. It’s not a big deal to predict more and more patients will choose the web to communicate with their physicians. What do you think? Is it a correct perspective regarding the patient-doctor relationship?

22 Comments Post a comment
  1. One of the keys to the eVisits market is to have a CPT code that is reimburseable thorugh the insurance carrier — this is a key success factor. The second part is demonstrable productivity and efficiency gains to the provider. The productivity gains can be achieved through many points in patient-physician relationship.

    NYC-based Phreesia automates patient check-in and delivers fully interactive content direct-to-patients, with a free wireless touch-screen and swipe-card.

    Primetime Medical Software has an eVisit, platform that contains questionnaires for more than six thousand distinct patient complaints. According to their site, “Physician productivity increases because as much as sixty percent of the medical data necessary to complete the visit note can be provided by patients and automatically documented in medical terminology through the Internet, in exam rooms, or in waiting areas before the encounter.”

    May 19, 2008
  2. eMedicine is definitely the wave of the future but it is not here yet. It can and will reduce visits to the doctor, the ER and probably reduce admissions to the hospital which means that the costs of medical care can go down. But until there is a payment system in place so tha the doctor can benefit from the time taken to interact with the patient this way, eMedicine will be on the “back burner.” right now, most physicians do not want to get involved since it is only a tie consumer but not a revenue generator in an era where cognitive activities are not reimbursed. But eventually this will – I hope – change and medicine will enter the electronic age. When it does happen it will represent one of the major “medical megatrends” similar to those I wrote about in “The Future of Medicine” which can be reviewed at

    May 20, 2008
  3. Consult A Doctor is a leading healthcare organization seeking licensed physicians nationwide who are interested in practicing primary care telemedicine, comfortable with using computers and have a cell phone with text messaging capabilities. We offer flexible part-time shifts working around your schedule.

    Consult A Doctor provides access to a network of licensed, primary care physicians and specialists nationwide who consult and provide medical services for non-urgent medical issues, chronic conditions and can recommend treatment and prescribe medication, when appropriate. We offer “On Call”, “By Appointment” and “Secure Email” medical consultations.

    Our physicians’ average 5-10 minutes for each consultation and are paid every Friday. As an example of compensation, some current physicians review 10+ patients per shift and average $150 – $200+ per hour working 10-20 hours per week.

    Our members will request a consultation which will be routed to the physician along with the patient’s Medical Record, Medical Assessment and History. During the call, the physician and patient discuss the patient’s medical issue. Based on the discussion you determine the probable issue and possible treatment plan. If warranted, you can prescribe a non-controlled medication. NO CONTROLLED MEDICATIONS ARE PRESCRIBED.

    Consult A Doctor follows strict policies, guidelines and procedures that are HIPAA compliant, protecting privacy at the highest levels and adhering to all federal, state, and local regulations. Additionally, we carry professional liability malpractice insurance with an A rated carrier.

    Please visit to get a more in depth perspective about the Telemedicine Consultation Program. If you are interested in joining our practice please forward your CV to Or, if you would like to learn more about our opportunities, please call Ana at 888-256-2602 X116.

    May 29, 2008
  4. Ana,

    Thank you, I will insert your service into the list.

    June 1, 2008
  5. Aboood Ahmed #


    even i dont u`r name but easily i will sy ma problem i was before 2 years Healty and Sport guy … realy i was too tuff and strong … but before one year i got hepatitis A …

    i was Totaly destroyed … my psychology Side was totaly destructed but after one year i was improveing ma health ….

    doctor ma problem that even after one and half year of ma last disease i was feeling that i got some thing with ma liver. …

    but all test was giving the opposite …i was realy depressed …
    until know i feel muscle weakness not always .. my left eye lid is always is contract unvoluntary …. i got an increase in my wieght .. iwas may be 60 now its 75
    now i`m lazy ,,,, my urine some times is burning me …i pei too much …..
    i`m drinking alot of water but still ma mouth little dry …. i`m eating too much … i`m sleeping too much. .. i`m so scared that i got some another problem with ma liver ???
    some times realy i feel that i`m good … and after two or five days i return lazy. . but not that lazy that make me Not working or not moving !!!!
    Thanx Doctor … please help me

    July 27, 2008
  6. is an excellent on line communications portal for physicians and patients. Its also free, as well as HIPAA compliant and easy to use.

    February 17, 2009
  7. Dr. Bertalan it is indeed a very good step for the patient to give himtreatment at your door step on your PC when you r not feeling well. nice effort keep it up. my best wishes r with you.

    October 7, 2010
  8. This is great, will definitely reduce costs of certain things, You could keep records online, and doctors would have immediate access to it

    October 21, 2010
  9. very good Dr. Bertalan Meskó. Online doctor consultations involve qualified medical professionals or doctors online providing patients with medical care services over the internet or telephone. We are provide the online service. For more information click here Online doctor precription

    February 20, 2011
  10. There is a new website for Florida residents (USA):
    Doctors are very friendly, and definitely keep you from spending a whole afternoon at the doctor’s office waiting for simple routine prescription.

    July 16, 2012
  11. Well, Great Concept. In India there are many online doctor consultation site i have come across with, but the main concern is how effectively they are providing the service. I consulted many online doctorsand i got the genuine information/medical solution. I am happy with this service.

    April 16, 2015

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. » Enlaces en Diigo 05/19/2008 | DigiZen
  2. Online Doctors or Pizza? « ScienceRoll
  3. Internet resources commented on in blogs « Ramazzini; blog on work and health
  4. E-consult en online visites »
  5. Jay Parkinson and Hello Health « ScienceRoll
  6. Doctors, webcams and online consultation « ScienceRoll
  7. Patients praise and pan virtual doctor visit « ScienceRoll
  8. Patients praise and pan virtual doctor visit | Move2Ideas
  9. The first online doctors « ScienceRoll
  10. il futuro della medicina « Una Mela al Giorno …..

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