Telehealth, or telemedicine services, is a rapidly emerging part of the healthcare industry. What is telehealth? Telehealth uses talk, video, and text features to connect healthcare professionals (HCPs) to patients so they can provide care.
Benefits of telehealth include:
- Providing individuals with access to fast and convenient medical care for a broad range of issues that may not necessarily require an in-person office visit.
- Enabling individuals in rural, remote locations to see specialists
- Assisting with an HCP shortage by making it more amenable for HCPs to see more patients, more rapidly.
Additionally, as the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic rages on, healthcare systems have revised their approaches to providing care to minimize in-person services.1 Recent health policy changes made during the COVID-19 pandemic have reduced and/or removed barriers to telehealth access, and many professional medical societies are stressing the importance of using telehealth services to reduce infectious exposures for HCPs and patients, preserve personal protective equipment (PPE), and minimize the impact of patient surges on facilities.2
Below are 5 of the best telehealth platforms used by HCPs in 2020.
MDLive offers 24/7 access to HCPs through its mobile app, website, and phone.3 MDLIVE provides urgent care visits, dermatologic services, and psychiatric treatment, including counseling sessions.3
Users can register for an account in about 15 minutes, and the average wait times to consult with a clinician are 15 minutes or less.4
Each available HCP is both board-certified and state-licensed with an average level of experience at 15 years within their specialty.3 Patients with a wide variety of medical conditions can be treated by a variety of clinicians in multiple therapeutic areas.3
MDLive features include primary care, dermatology, and behavioral health physicians, physician and pharmacy directories, billing, prescriptions, video conferencing, an AI-powered chatbot, and appointment scheduling.3
PlushCare offers a variety of primary care and behavioral HCPs for patients via a smartphone app (iOS/Android).5
The service touts physicians who come from “the top 50 U.S. medical schools” who are also licensed in the country, making it one of the more credible of the top telehealth platforms.5
With over 15 years of experience, the physicians are claimed to resolve 97% of health issues in the first patient consultation.6 Physicians are available 365 days of the year for medical care and online treatments and can write prescriptions if necessary.5
PlushCare features include primary care and behavioral HCPs, prescriptions, physician and pharmacy directories, appointment scheduling, billing, and unlimited chat and video conferencing.5 It also offers lab tests, sends prescriptions to the patient’s local pharmacy, and provides follow-up visits after the initial consultation.7
3. Doctor on Demand
Doctor on Demand is available 24/7 via telephone, website, or through a smartphone app (iOS/Android).8
The app’s providers include licensed physicians, psychiatrists, and psychologists.9 However, the service makes clear that the following issues must be assessed by an in-person doctor at either a clinic or hospital: broken bones, severe burns, lacerations, loss of consciousness, chest pains, coughing or vomiting blood, and all traumatic injuries.10
For immediate appointments, individuals are assigned to an HCP.8 However, scheduled appointments allow users to select which provider they’d like to speak with in the future if he/she is available.8 Users can also take free mental health assessments to determine whether the service is right for them.11
Doctor on Demand includes urgent care, behavioral health, preventive care, chronic care, prescriptions, video conferencing, and integration with Apple HealthKit.8
Amwell is focused on convenience and service.12 Interactions take place over the phone, through video chat, or using the service’s smartphone app (iOS/Android).13
This telehealth solution provides 24/7, on-demand, full-spectrum virtual care options for several medical specialties, including telepsychiatry, pediatrics, menopause care, pregnancy and postpartum nutrition and counseling, and more.13
Amwell permits users to choose from the available HCPs who are listed along with their years of experience, specialties, and ratings. Users can schedule appointments, often with next-day availability.12
Amwell features include urgent care, nutrition, dermatology, pediatrics, and behavioral health physicians, women’s health and physical therapy, direct-to-patient and provider-to-provider modules, physician directories, prescriptions, billing, and video conferencing.13
Teladoc is a convenient way for patients to access a national network of HCPs.14 Patients and providers can access the service through phone calls or video conferencing, either on the web or via their smartphone app (iOS/Android).14
Teledoc’s service is intended strictly for non-emergency care, and only routine prescriptions can be filled out.15 Physicians are available 24/7, and service is offered in over 30 languages.14 HCPs typically connect with a patient within 20 minutes of an initial request.14 Emergency calls are routed through to an appropriate clinic or hospital.14
Teladoc features include everyday care, dermatology, behavioral health, nutrition, women’s health, prescriptions, billing, video conferencing, and integration with Apple HealthKit.14
- Things to know about the COVID-19 pandemic. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. Updated December 31, 2020. Accessed January 4, 2021.
- Using telehealth services to expand access to essential health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. Updated June 10, 2020. Accessed January 4, 2021.
- MDLIVE. MDLIVE, Inc. website. Updated 2020. Accessed January 4, 2021.
- Telehealth services: how telehealth services works. MDLIVE, Inc. website. Accessed January 4, 2021.
- PlushCare. PlushCare website. Updated 2020. Accessed January 4, 2021.
- Doctors. PlushCare website. Published December 9, 2020. Accessed January 4, 2021.
- Can a PlushCare doctor order a lab test for me? PlushCare website. Published October 2020. Updated September 22, 2020. Accessed January 4, 2021.
- Doctor on Demand. Doctor On Demand, Inc. website. Updated 2020. Accessed January 4, 2021.
- What we treat: mind and body care. Doctor On Demand, Inc. website. Accessed January 4, 2020.
- Urgent care. Doctor On Demand, Inc. website. Accessed January 4, 2021.
- Therapy, your way. Doctor On Demand, Inc. website. Accessed January 4, 2021.
- Amwell. American Well Corporation (Amwell) website. Updated 2020. Accessed January 4, 2021.
- Full spectrum telehealth solutions. American Well Corporation (Amwell) website. Accessed January 4, 2021.
- Teladoc. Teladoc Health, Inc. website. Updated 2020. Accessed January 3, 2021.
- Teladoc: 24/7 access to doctors by phone or video. Teladoc Health, Inc. website. Accessed January 4, 2021.