The company, which has treated 40,000 patients so far, is trying to appeal to two groups of people: those who don’t have the time to see a doctor and those who don’t have the money…
Doctors and other experts worry such barriers are causing a growing number of people to skip basic medical care, which can lead to serious — and costly — problems down the road.
“We’re not here to replace primary care physicians,” said Rocky Dhir, TelaDoc’s general counsel and spokesman. But “this is what consumers want. We can help them with 75% of reasons they go see a doctor.”
Many doctors find the service laughable — how can any physician tell if someone’s sick without a physical exam? A reliable set of vitals? Even a snapshot of the patient?
But then again, many doctors feel emergency room services are used inappropriately, wasting the time of patients and healthcare staff alike, and generating out-of-control expenses.
TelaDoc has an opportunity to demonstrate they’re improving patient outcomes, and enhancing healthcare resource allocation. Their logs and data would make it simple to study. We hope they share it.
Flashback: Tel-a-doc debuts