I. The Best Online Doctor & Medical Services of 2021

SteadyMD — Best Overall Online Doctor

SteadyMD takes a new approach to primary healthcare, offering comprehensive, personalized, fully online care for individuals and families.

Amwell — Best Online Doctor for Women’s Health

In addition to general health care services, Amwell provides comprehensive care for women’s issues.

Hims — Best Online Doctor for Men’s Health

A one-stop shop for health and wellness specifically for men, Hims has easy, online access to online doctor consultations and treatments for a variety of needs.

Anytime Pediatrics — Best Online Doctor for Pediatrics

Anytime Pediatrics connects parents and their children to care with their regular pediatrician or another online doctor.

BetterHelp — Best for Online Therapy

BetterHelp provides online therapy services to individuals, couples, and teens via video, phone, messaging, and live chat.

JustAnswer — Best Online Doctor for Quick Answers

Patients can use JustAnswer to instantly connect with experts for quick, easy answers to urgent healthcare concerns and questions.

Sesame — Best Price-Per-Visit Online Doctor

Sesame aims to make quality healthcare accessible and affordable to all by connecting you with online doctors and other providers via in-person and video visits.

HealthTap — Best Online Doctor Subscription Plan

For a low monthly fee, HealthTap offers access to virtual visits with board-certified online doctors, prescription services, virtual storage for health records, and other resources.

PlushCare — Best Online Doctor for Insurance Coverage

PlushCare offers insured and non-insured individuals access to affordable, convenient, and personalized care for urgent and ongoing medical conditions.

II. How We Chose the Best Online Doctor & Medical Services

We looked for key elements that make online doctor services safe, reliable, and effective. While cost is a major consideration when choosing an online medical service, we did not factor that into our methodology. Instead, we’ve provided options in a range of price points.

Communication methods

Part of what makes online doctors valuable is the variety of ways in which patients can communicate with health care providers. We prioritized services that offer multiple ways for patients to connect with their doctors, including video and phone chat, email, live chat, and text messaging.

Services available

The services available via telehealth run the gamut from simple Q&A consultations to treatment for ongoing health conditions. We focused on online doctor and medical services that offer patients a wide spectrum of care, including treatment for acute and chronic health issues mental and behavioral health care, preventative care, and prescription and lab services.

Wait time

Another main perk of telehealth is how fast you can get an appointment with an online doctor. We sought out services that offer on-demand same-day appointments, as well as minimal wait times for appointments scheduled in advance.

A note about scores

All of the top nine online doctor and medical services for 2021 included on our list below are ranked on a score out of 100. Each score is based on factors including ease of use, convenience, technology, personalization, and an overall score.

III. The Best Online Doctor & Medical Services

SteadyMD — Best Overall Online Doctor

SteadyMD online doctor service

SteadyMD is a fresh approach to health care that aims to replace your traditional general practitioner.

With SteadyMD, you see the same online doctor each time. You’ll pay a flat subscription fee for individual and family plans. Once you sign up, services include a one-hour video consultation, unlimited same-day appointments, and unlimited calling and texting with your doctor in between visits.

Like a regular primary care physician, your SteadyMD online doctor can treat acute conditions like minor injuries and infections, as well as provide ongoing care for chronic conditions like blood pressure and allergies. They can also order blood work and lab tests, and prescribe medications as necessary.

CostAccepts insuranceOther features
Individual plan: $99/month
Family plan: $178/month
Yes– Care available 24/7/365
– Mobile app
– Multiple languages
– More features at SteadyMD

Pros and Cons of SteadyMD

Pros:

  • Get prescriptions from the comfort of your home.
  • SteadyMD retrieves all of your health records and integrates the data from any fitness apps you may use. It keeps your medical records are complete and up-to-date without any work on your part.
  • Unlimited texts, phone calls, and virtual visits via video chats as part of your SteadyMD membership.
  • You can count on seeing the same physician each time you have a medical question, concern, illness or injury.
  • If for any reason your doctor is unavailable, other doctors are able to step in to help you with urgent issues.
  • Visits can last as long as an hour, and you can see or speak to your doctor as often as you need.
  • Established members get same-day appointments and responses to text messages in minutes.
  • You can personalize your medical care by choosing a doctor who shares your interests, such as a paleo diet or running.
  • Doctors see fewer patients than a traditional physician, so they can devote more time to your health needs.

Cons:

  • The subscription membership model may exceed your budget, especially if you don’t seek medical care often.
  • You’ll have to commit to a one-year membership, even if you decide SteadyMD isn’t right for you.
  • The first appointment is comprehensive. However, it can take one to two days to get an appointment. It’s not a good choice if you have immediate health concerns.
  • SteadyMD provides primary care only. If you need specialty care, you’ll need to find another service.

What Customers Are Saying

According to many SteadyMD customers, they love the service for the high quality of care they receive. “My doctor treats me like I’m his only patient,” writes one user. “My doctor and his wonderful staff really care about me. I wish I had started utilizing this service sooner.”

Score
Ease of use: 90/100
Convenience factor: 100/100
Technology: 90/100
Personalization: 100/100
Overall score: 95/100

 


 

Amwell — Best Online Doctor for Women’s Health

Amwell online doctor service
Amwell is a comprehensive telehealth service that can supplement your primary healthcare. You can get on-demand healthcare by downloading the free Amwell mobile app and selecting an available online doctor. Within minutes, you will have a video consultation with a physician, where you can discuss your issue, and get recommendations for treatment or next steps. If you need a prescription, they can send the order to your local pharmacy.

Among the many healthcare issues that Amwell can help with are a variety of needs specific to women’s health. Amwell’s doctors can help you choose birth control, treat symptoms of PMS, postpartum depression, and menopause, and provide support for breastfeeding. For families, pediatric doctors are available to treat common childhood illnesses like pink eye, sore throat, and bronchitis.

Amwell accepts insurance from major providers, although specific plans determine exactly what is covered. You can seek treatment through Amwell even if you don’t have insurance.

CostAccepts insuranceOther features
Urgent care: $79
Therapy (master’s degree): $99
Therapy (PhD): $110
Psychiatry (initial visit): $269
Psychiatry (follow-up): $99
Yes– Care available 24/7/365
– Mobile app
– Prescription services
– More features at Amwell

Pros and Cons of Amwell

Pros:

  • Amwell urgent care visits cost just $79. Comparatively, office visits with a primary care provider cost $139, and ER visits cost $645.
  • Patients with participating insurance plans pay just a portion of this cost as their copayment. Amwell accepts more than three dozen insurance providers including Aetna, Anthem, Cigna, and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
  • Amwell typically offers patients a free first visit or other discounts with coupon codes.
  • Amwell’s care is more comprehensive than many other online doctor sites. You can access urgent care services as well as medical services in nine additional specialties.
  • Amwell physicians can write prescriptions and electronically send them to your local pharmacy when medically appropriate.
  • Average wait time to connect with an online doctor is three minutes.
  • You can choose a doctor from a list of available physicians and connect via mobile app, desktop computer, or phone.
  • Amwell can send a summary of your visit to your primary care provider.

Cons:

  • You can’t use the service to set up an appointment for urgent care visits. The only urgent care option is to wait until you have time to speak with a doctor and wait for one to become available.
  • Virtual visits with the most expensive Amwell specialists can cost up to $199.
  • Amwell cannot order laboratory tests.
  • Patients see Amwell doctors via video streaming services, but don’t have the option to message, email, or use other forms of communication for further contact.

What Customers Are Saying

Amwell customers appreciate the service for helping them with a range of medical concerns, including weight loss, prescription refills, and psychiatry. Writes one user, “I have used Amwell many times and every time has been a good experience. This last time using them actually prevented me from going to the hospital.”

Scores
Ease of use: 75/100
Convenience factor: 60/100
Technology: 90/100
Personalization: 55/100
Overall score: 70/100

 


 

Hims — Best Online Doctor for Men’s Health

Hims-2
Hims is a telehealth platform designed for men, by men. It aims to address common, specific men’s health issues including reproductive and sexual health, mental health, hair loss, and skin care.

While Hims doesn’t offer comprehensive health care, it is a good place to start if you’re seeking male-focused care from the privacy of home. It’s easy to set up an account with your medical history information and answers about your health and lifestyle. Hims will connect you with a licensed physician who can answer your questions and make recommendations for treatment.

If you need prescriptions for issues like erectile dysfunction or hair loss, Hims will deliver them directly to your door for free in discreet packaging.

While Hims does not accept insurance for consultations, prescriptions may be covered.

CostAccepts insuranceOther features
Consultation: $39
-Prescription costs vary
Yes, for some prescriptions– New prescriptions and refills
– Primary care and men’s healthcare
– Mobile app
– More features at Hims

Pros and Cons of Hims

Pros:

  • Hims specializes in men’s healthcare. It was created to encourage men – who may be hesitant to see a doctor – to seek out health care on a regular basis.
  • When medically appropriate, Hims physicians can prescribe medications for issues including erectile dysfunction, hair loss, and skin conditions.
  • You can take advantage of Hims’ free delivery, which sends prescriptions to your home in discreet packaging. Or, you have the option of picking up prescriptions at a local pharmacy.
  • Many prescriptions available through Hims are sold at a discounted price compared to purchasing them directly from a pharmacy.
  • Hims sells a variety of supplements, including protein powders, vitamins and teas that help boost immunity, promote better sleep, and improve overall physical health.
  • Hims provides mental health care in the form of teletherapy and psychiatric evaluations.

Cons:

  • Hims’ services are very niche, by design, and they do not provide any type of services for women.
  • Hims’ doctors are not able to order lab tests, blood work, or imaging. Users will still need to see a primary care physician for these types of services, if necessary.
  • Even if you have health insurance, you’ll pay out-of-pocket for Hims’ consultation services, which have a flat fee of $39.
  • Depending on your health insurance coverage, you may be able to use health insurance to cover copays for prescriptions ordered via Hims. However, you’ll have to pick up prescriptions from a pharmacy to use your insurance rather than using Hims’ delivery service.

What Customers Are Saying

Hims customers like the service for being helpful and discreet. “Hims has been fantastic to deal with,” writes one user. “Great software, great medical personnel, and great customer service. Hims makes everything very private and easy to use. Product works and is very affordable.”

Scores
Ease of use: 70/100
Convenience factor: 80/100
Technology: 90/100
Personalization: 60/100
Overall score: 75/100


 

Anytime Pediatrics — Best Online Doctor for Pediatrics

AnytimePediatrics online doctor service for children
When your child is sick, the last thing you want to do is drag them to a waiting room in a doctor’s office or emergency room. With Anytime Pediatrics, you can access an online doctor for your child with pediatric-specific telehealth services for ages birth to 21.

Online health services are available 24/7. Anytime Pediatrics connects you with either your primary pediatrician, or another on-call, board-certified pediatrician, via the website or mobile app. Through video visits, Anytime Pediatrics’ physicians can treat a variety of non-emergency conditions common in babies, children, and adolescents, including allergies, rashes, respiratory illnesses, nausea, diarrhea, minor abrasions, mental and, behavioral health.

If prescriptions are needed, pediatric clinicians may call in orders to your local pharmacy. They can also provide notes for school for excused absences.

Online doctors on Anytime Pediatrics accept most major health insurance plans. Some providers offer a flat fee or cash pay option if you don’t have health insurance.

CostAccepts insuranceOther features
– Costs vary with insurance coverage.Yes– Treats children ages birth to 21
– Sick notes
– More features at Anytime Pediatrics

Pros and Cons of Anytime Pediatrics

Pros:

  • Pediatric clinicians using the Anytime Pediatrics Virtual Care Platform offer non-emergency healthcare services to individuals ages birth to 21.
  • By conducting visits via video, Anytime Pediatrics provides a convenient yet effective way for pediatricians to exam, assess, and diagnose illnesses and conditions in patients.
  • Physicians have the ability to order prescriptions for patients. They can also issue notes for school or other excused absences.
  • You don’t need any special equipment, besides a computer, phone, or tablet with a camera, to use Anytime Pediatrics.

Cons:

  • In order to see your primary pediatrician, they must be part of Anytime Pediatrics’ network. If not, you may choose to connect with an available pediatrician in the Anytime Pediatrics network who is licensed in your state.
  • Although providers offering care via Anytime Pediatrics accept most major health insurance plans and offer services to non-insured individuals, visit pricing varies depending on your state and doctor. Rates are typically far less than an ER or urgent care visit.

What Customers Are Saying

According to many Anytime Pediatrics users, this service has saved them from unnecessary doctor visits on multiple occasions. “This service is wonderful,” writes one user. “I was able to get medical advice in the late hours of the night without having to drag my sick baby to the emergency room.”

Scores
Ease of use: 85/100
Convenience factor: 90/100
Technology: 90/100
Personalization: 75/100
Overall score: 85/100


 

BetterHelp — Best for Online Therapy

BetterHelp
Telehealth has also transformed access to mental health care. BetterHelp serves clients dealing with common mental and behavioral health issues including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, self-esteem, and grief.

BetterHelp matches clients with a therapist from their roster of thousands of credentialed mental health professionals. Providers include psychologists, licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical social workers, and marriage and family therapists. You can connect with your counselor via secure phone, video, or live chat for weekly sessions. You can also send unlimited email messages between sessions.

BetterHelp’s services are accessible via their website or mobile app. Couples and teens can access care through BetterHelp’s affiliates, Regain.us and TeenCounseling.com. BetterHelp does not accept insurance, but offers discounted rates for those who qualify for financial assistance.

CostAccepts insuranceOther features
– $60-$80 per week (billed monthly)No– Mobile app
– Financial assistance available
– Multiple communication methods
– More features at BetterHelp

Pros and Cons of BetterHelp

Pros:

  • Seeing a therapist from home removes obstacles to getting mental healthcare, including avoiding stigma, finding childcare, and travel time to a therapist’s office.
  • The messaging communication option is open 24 hours a day. In this secure and private virtual room, you can share your thoughts or send an update whenever it’s most convenient.
  • Live, real-time communication is also available via chats, phone calls, and video sessions.
  • It typically takes less than 24 hours from the time you sign up for BetterHelp to get matched to a therapist.
  • Your provider will be personalized. BetterHelp takes into account your unique issues, preferences, and objectives and available counselors’ approaches and areas of interest.
  • If you and your therapist are poorly matched, you can quickly and discreetly get matched with a new BetterHelp counselor.
  • You’ll pay a flat weekly fee (billed monthly) that includes unlimited therapy sessions.

Cons:

  • Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, do not cover counseling services offered by BetterHelp. You will likely have to pay out of pocket.
  • Fees are billed monthly, so you have to commit to paying for a whole month of therapy.
  • Therapists employed by BetterHelp are not authorized to make a diagnosis, prescribe medication for mental health issues, or fulfill court-ordered counseling requirements.

What Customers Are Saying

BetterHelp has established a loyal client base by providing convenient, compassionate care. “I was matched with a counselor who ended up giving me great direction in changing my life,” writes one user. “Even over the computer I felt heard and as if I was seeing my therapist in person.”

Scores
Ease of use: 85/100
Convenience factor: 90/100
Technology: 90/100
Personalization: 75/100
Overall score: 85/100


 

JustAnswer — Best Online Doctor for Quick Answers

JustAnswer-2
The internet can provide a wealth of information on just about any topic, including healthcare and medical advice, but it can be hard to know which answers are reliable. JustAnswer seeks to address those concerns with instant on-demand access to trusted online doctors.

JustAnswer is a subscription-based service that lets you ask unlimited questions to experts in a variety of different areas, including medicine and healthcare, law, home and car repairs, and veterinary services. Experts are carefully vetted and will communicate via phone, text message, or live chat to answer questions accurately and thoroughly. JustAnswer also gives you the option to upload documents and photos if necessary.

While JustAnswer cannot replace a primary care physician or emergency medical attention, it can be a quick, convenient way to get trustworthy medical advice when you can’t reach your PCP or need a second opinion.

CostAccepts insuranceOther features
Seven-day trial: $5
Monthly subscription: $41 for unlimited questions
No– Mobile app
– 7-day trial
– 24/7/365 access
– More features at JustAnswer

Pros and Cons of JustAnswer

Pros:

  • JustAnswer’s biggest pro is its simplicity. If you’re seeking trustworthy advice from a medical expert, you can get a quick answer.
  • There are multiple ways to connect with experts, including talk, text, and live chat. You can also submit photos and documents if needed.
  • JustAnswer’s services are available 24/7/365 via their website or mobile app.
  • A JustAnswer membership offers access to a network of over 12,000 experts in a variety of areas beyond medicine. Experts include lawyers, mechanics, accountants, electricians, plumbers, and veterinarians.
  • JustAnswer offers a seven-day free trial to new customers to explore the service before signing up for a monthly membership.

Cons:

  • Although JustAnswer can be useful in getting answers and advice for health and medical-related questions, it is not a full-service telehealth platform. JustAnswer does not provide a full exam or consultation, prescriptions, or follow-up care.
  • JustAnswer’s pricing structure is somewhat unclear. According to their website, it costs $5 to post a question, but members may be charged additional fees for premium services such as phone calls. It is also unclear whether the $5 per-question fee is in addition to the required monthly membership fee.

What Customers Are Saying

Customers praise JustAnswer for giving them quick, easy access to information they can trust. “So quick, easy, and helpful,” says one user of their JustAnswer experience. “In an instant I was able to text with a doctor when I couldn’t reach mine on the weekend. Very informative and professional.”

Scores
Ease of use: 90/100
Convenience factor: 95/100
Technology: 80/100
Personalization: 75/100
Overall score: 85/100


 

Sesame — Best Price-Per-Visit Online Doctor

Sesame2
Sesame leverages technology to create a direct-to-patient healthcare marketplace that connects patients with quality doctors both virtually and in-person.

While anyone can use Sesame’s services, it is primarily designed for individuals who don’t have health insurance, or need to find affordable services because of high deductibles. Using Sesame, you’ll find doctors and providers for a variety of healthcare needs, including primary care, urgent care, dentistry, dermatology, and mental health care. You can search for providers locally or nationally for an in-person or video appointment. All healthcare providers in Sesame’s network are fully licensed and carefully vetted to ensure patients are getting top-notch care.

The pricing for services is transparent and affordable. You can pay using cash, credit, or a health savings account. Although Sesame does not accept payment from health insurance companies, you can submit receipts to your insurance company for reimbursement.

CostAccepts insuranceOther features
Video consultation: $25 to $55
In-person visit: $37 to $110
No– Telehealth and in-person services
– Prescription services
– Imaging services
– More features at Sesame

Pros and Cons of Sesame

Pros:

  • Sesame is designed as a healthcare solution for individuals who don’t have health insurance, or are underinsured. Affordable flat rates for care may make medical attention more accessible for you.
  • Sesame’s doctors can accept funds from Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts.
  • You have option to schedule video or in-person appointments, depending on your location.
  • You can use Sesame to connect with providers in a variety of different areas of care. Care areas include primary care, dermatology, dentistry, optometry, and mental health.
  • Sesame has a no-worries cancellation policy. You can cancel appointments up to 24 hours in advance with no penalty.
  • Sesame’s physicians can prescribe medications if medically appropriate.

Cons:

  • Because Sesame does not accept health insurance, it may not be a logical or affordable choice if you have health insurance. Although you can submit receipts to your health insurance company for reimbursement, this may be more of a hassle than using a service that accepts your insurance outright.
  • While Sesame customers in all 50 states can schedule virtual visits, not all in-person services are available nationwide. You’ll have to search your location to see what in-person services are available in your area.

What Customers Are Saying

According to customers, Sesame is living up to its mission of making healthcare more accessible and affordable for all. Writes one member, “I’ve used Sesame twice this year, and both doctors were great! Overall an amazing site for people with or without insurance.”

Scores
Ease of use: 90/100
Convenience factor: 90/100
Technology: 90/100
Personalization: 90/100
Overall score: 90/100


 

HealthTap — Best Online Doctor Subscription Plan

HealthTap-2
HealthTap is an affordable telehealth membership service. It gives you access to online doctors and healthcare guidance to supplement your primary care physician.

For just $10 per month, HealthTap offers access to unlimited virtual consultations 24/7 via video or live chat. You can get advice and treatment recommendations for various acute or primary care needs. The service also offers prescriptions, doctor’s notes for excused absences from work or school, and referrals for specialists.

A HealthTap membership includes access to a searchable database of thousands of answers from doctors, secure storage for personal health records, and HealthTap’s AI feature, which can guide you to the right level of care with answers to a few simple questions.

HealthTap is accessible via their website, or by downloading their mobile app, which is available for iOS and Android.

CostAccepts insuranceOther features
– $10/monthYes– 24/7/365 access
– Mobile app
– Sick notes
– More features at Health Tap

Pros and Cons of HealthTap

Pros: 

  • HealthTap’s primary benefit is a convenient, accessible tool for getting quick medical and healthcare guidance. You can access care via video or text chat with a board-certified physician, or by searching a database of answers from medical experts.
  • HealthTap also features an AI tool that can help you determine the right level of care for your needs.
  • The HealthTap app allows you to store health records and virtual visit history. It can be easily shared with your primary care physician.
  • HealthTap physicians can order lab tests and prescriptions. They can make referrals to specialists as needed.
  • HealthTap accepts many major health insurance plans. The company also contracts with many employers to offer their services to employees.

Cons:

  • While it is relatively inexpensive, HealthTap does charge a monthly subscription fee of $10. This membership fee does not cover the cost of prescriptions, lab tests, or in-person doctor visits.
  • HealthTap is meant to supplement, not replace, a primary care physician. You can use the service for consultations, advice, and prescriptions. However, it is not meant to provide emergency medical care or fill the role of a long-term primary care physician.

What Customers Are Saying

HealthTap’s users praise the service for providing a quick, convenient connection with on-demand care. “HealthTap got me in touch with a doctor in a smooth and seamless way,” says one user. Another user says, “They provided me with information that gave me comfort in my diagnosis. Glad to have a reliable application like HealthTap.”

Scores
Ease of use: 90/100
Convenience factor: 80/100
Technology: 90/100
Personalization: 80/100
Overall score: 85/100


 

PlushCare — Best Online Doctor for Insurance Coverage


PlushCare works with your established primary care physician and specialist. The service offers exams by appointment to complement the care you receive in person. Same-day appointments are frequently available.

Among the services that PlushCare offers are urgent care for acute illnesses and conditions, help with chronic conditions like diabetes and asthma, prescription refills, and STD testing. A PlushCare doctor can also order lab work for you and follow up with you once they receive the results.

Like many other online doctor and medical services, PlushCare requires patients to have a membership to use their services. The membership fee is $14.99 per month. This membership includes the ability to send unlimited in-app messages and book a same-day appointment. PlushCare also accepts most major health insurance coverage.

CostAccepts insuranceOther features
Prices vary depending on insurance coverage.
Membership: $14.99
Yes– Care available 24/7/365
– Mobile app
– Prescription services
– More features at PlushCare

Pros and Cons of PlushCare

Pros:

  • PlushCare’s team will work in conjunction with your PCP to make sure all of your urgent and long-term healthcare needs are met. That includes treatment of chronic conditions. It can be a replacement for PCP services if you choose.
  • Services include ordering lab tests and reviewing the results via phone or video chat, which saves a trip to the doctor’s office.
  • PlushCare accepts most major health insurance coverage, including Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, and United Healthcare.
  • Although PlushCare requires a paid membership, there’s a 30-day trial period.
  • PlushCare providers can send prescriptions electronically to your local pharmacy for pickup.

Cons:

  • PlushCare’s monthly membership fee is in addition to any fees that you have to pay to online doctors you see via the service.
  • PlushCare doctors cannot prescribe or refill all prescriptions. Restrictions include narcotics, anti-psychotics, sleep medications, weight loss medications, ADD/ADHD medications, and anti-anxiety medications.
  • Most services are offered by appointment only. Customers are not guaranteed same-day care.

What Customers Are Saying

Customers have high praise for PlushCare’s doctors and healthcare providers. “My physician is knowledgeable, understanding, empathetic, and everything else you need a doctor to be,” says one patient. Adds another user, “From the registration to the video chat, I couldn’t have asked for a more pleasant experience.”

Scores
Ease of use: 90/100
Convenience factor: 80/100
Technology: 90/100
Personalization: 80/100
Overall score: 85/100

IV. What You Need to Know About Online Doctor & Medical Services

How much does an online doctor cost?

Online doctor visit costs vary depending on the service. Some online medical services charge a monthly subscription fee for unlimited access, while others charge per visit. Consultations typically start at $25 and monthly memberships at $10.

Can you get a prescription from an online doctor?

Many online doctors can write prescriptions. Some online medical services offer prescriptions delivered to your door, while others can send prescriptions electronically to your local pharmacy for pickup.

Is telehealth the same thing as telemedicine?

You may see the phrases telehealth and telemedicine used interchangeably, but they mean different things. Telemedicine refers specifically to clinical services provided remotely. Telehealth includes the use of telecommunications for clinical and non-clinical purposes, like education and administration.

Many online doctor and medical services provide both telehealth and telemedicine services, including prescription management, urgent care, check-ups, mental health care, and more. Most online medical services seek to supplement in-person doctor visits by allowing patients to ask questions or diagnose common health issues from home. With the scope of what’s possible via telemedicine constantly widening, there is much speculation about how this innovation will affect in-person care going forward.

Where are online doctor visits available?

The Federation of State Medical Boards, which regulates physicians and healthcare professionals in the U.S., sets policies regarding what kind of licensure a doctor needs to provide care online, and in which states they need to be licensed. These policies are continuously updated, both in response to evolving telemedicine practices, and to address more immediate concerns, like the COVID-19 pandemic.

V. News About Online Doctors and Medical Services

Much of the current news about online doctors and medical services focuses on their increasing prevalence and popularity. This has grown significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, as doctors and patients have been looking for ways to limit in-person contact as much as possible.

VI. Sources