Imagine needing to see a doctor and being able to do so within 5 minutes. No need to travel. No time wasted spent in the waiting room. No need to even leave your home.
These are just some of the benefits of the virtual doctor. And while technology is constantly improving, changing and revolutionizing the medical field, the development of the modern-day virtual doctor, or teledoc, could be one of the most impactful. No longer are you forced to go the physician closest to you? Virtual doctor platforms have done more to democratize medicine and access to medical assistance than any other innovation over the last century.
In 2020, virtual healthcare platforms like AmWell allow patients in all 50 states to enjoy instant access to fully qualified, board-certified medical practitioners 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In fact, seeing a medical doctor has never been this simple or convenient.
Already endorsed by esteemed and respected medical bodies like the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Dermatology, the popularity of telemedicine is growing daily. But how exactly does it work? How does it compare to an in-person consultation? What are the costs? Today we will be putting one of the most popular virtual doctor platforms – AmWell – under the microscope as we answer those questions and more to help you make an informed choice when it comes to choosing which teledoc platform you go with.
American Well, more commonly known as AmWell, is one of the United States leading telehealth platforms and have been connecting and enabling providers, insurers, patients, and innovators with access to affordable, high-quality healthcare via PC, laptop, tablet or smartphones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Today AmWell specializes in the treatment of non-emergency urgent care and charges a set fee for every visit.
One of the most attractive features of AmWell’s telehealth offering is their cost-effectiveness. Patients are charged a flat fee for each consultation. This fee is significantly lower than what a patient would expect to pay if they were to go to the emergency ward of their local hospital.
AmWell has developed its platform and services around the needs of those who:
AmWell offer the following modules of care:
AmWell has an extensive network of service providers that operate in the following fields:
AmWell also specializes in telepsychiatry and can treat patients suffering from any of the following:
Amwell does not deal with emergency situations and those patients who find themselves needing emergency services are advised to call 911.
The first thing the patient needs to do is set up their profile. Part of this process includes choosing your healthcare professional and preferred pharmacy. Next, it's highly recommended that users run a test on their set up to ensure it supports video chat as this is the medium most consultations will take place in
Next, the patient will request an online consultation with a teledoctor. It usually takes no more than 2 minutes to be connected with a qualified online doctor, licensed to operate in your state. The online consultation will be quite similar to an in-person consultation, with the patient being asked to describe the symptoms they are suffering from. The online doctor will then make a diagnosis and if need be, send off a prescription for medication directly to the patient's preferred pharmacy. AmWell’s online doctors will never send the prescription directly to the patient.
Patients who require a prescription for a controlled substance will have to see an in-person doctor as AmWell’s virtual doctors are not permitted to prescribe these substances over the internet.
When it comes to payment, Amwell has a set fee for online doctor consultations. The cost of this consultation will depend on whether the patient has health insurance and whether their particular plan covers some, all or none of this fee. The cost for those without any form of health insurance is $69 per consultation. On average, the consultation lasts 10 minutes but the time can be extended if need be with no additional cost.
There is no doubt that virtual doctors and telehealth platforms like AmWell are the future of everyday healthcare. It is the great leveler, giving everyone access to highly qualified and board-certified medical practitioners, no matter where they live. The benefits of telemedicine are just too many to ignore – removes travel times, no more time wasted in waiting rooms, it provides people in rural areas with access to medical specialists that they otherwise may never have had access, the list goes on and on.
However, with all of that being said, it is important to note where online telehealth platforms fall short – emergency situations. In these situations, it is strongly suggested that you either call 911 or get to your nearest hospital as soon as possible. It’s also worth noting that in-person doctor consultations will always yield a more accurate diagnosis. However, for those situations where distance, time and convenience are a factor, the virtual doctor system is almost perfect.
AmWell is one of the largest and most well-known telehealth operators in the US with over a decade of experience. Their size and experience allow them to offer their patients a polished and professional service that covers almost every medical situation one can think of. Factor in the low cost per consultation, together with the fact that some medical insurances will cover a large portion of any costs you may incur with AmWell and it’s hard to think of a reason not to use them!