Every mom has been there, the kids are sick, you don’t have time to get them to the doctor’s office and you just need some advice.
If only doctors still made house calls.
Well, they sort of do. The website American Well links you to a real board certified M.D. and allows you to do a “virtual” doctor visit.
We just returned from yet another trip, 3 of my 4 children are sick. Two of them are so sick they couldn’t go to school.
I am on deadline. They all want to sleep, which I actually think is the cure for everything. Ask them, they will tell you, I generally prescribe fresh air, lots of water and sleep for most everything. I’m pretty sure they have the same cold virus and it was made worse by air travel.
I didn’t really want to haul them to the pediatrician, sit in a germ filled waiting room with other sick kids, wait for at least 30 minutes to see the doctor, just to be told “you’re right, it’s a virus-sleep and fluids will fix it.” I have spent many hours in waiting rooms or driving around strange cities while traveling to find a pediatrician that will treat what I already know is wrong with my child, we know when it’s pink eye, a UTI, an ear infection, etc. Often we just need a doctor to verify our mom diagnosis (I have yet to be wrong) and prescribe the necessary medication.
I was asked to review the telehealth service Amwell, my children obliged by actually being ill for the review.
Reasons I recommend it:
It’s easy. Literally you log in to your account, within about 10 minutes you are live with an M.D. The family medicine doctor I met with this morning practices here in CT and was easy to chat with and very helpful.
It’s affordable. A visit is $49, although your insurance will likely cover it. As part of this campaign I was offered a free visit and I am giving all of you the same opportunity. Use the code: BEWELL1 for your free online doctor’s appointment. They say the average visit for the uninsured is $82. I called my pediatrician to find out what uninsured patients pay them for a visit, $200.
They will call in a prescription. I cannot tell you how many times I have been traveling and I know for a fact that my child just has an ear infection. I have four kids, I know what it is. It is rare that I can get the prescription called in without a visit (oddly, this is super easy almost anywhere else but the US). With this service if there is a simple, diagnosable need for antibiotics or other prescription medications, the doctor will call them in to a pharmacy near you. Note, the doctor I spoke to recommended waiting at least three more days before prescribing antibiotics, I felt like he was prudent. Also, being nearby he is aware of the viruses that are going around.
How it works:
Create an account. It’s easy to create an account and takes under five minutes. When you get to the payment screen just enter the code BEWELL1 and it will make your amount due $0.
Initiate a visit. You’ll be asked whether the visit is for you or a child, you’ll enter some biographical and medical data, choose a doctor from those available. Their photos pop up, you can read about their backgrounds and you simply click. I’d like to say I did research, I picked a guy who looked friendly and was available. Also how I chose a husband.
Wait for the doctor. Once you are in their “waiting room” it takes a few minutes while they review your information during which a video plays so you know you haven’t been forgotten. I waited under five minutes to see Dr. Lupis. You chat with the doctor via video and it looks much like a Skype call.
Created by doctors, Amwell is:
– The most popular consumer telehealth app worldwide in 2014 according to App Annie
– The first telehealth service awarded accreditation by The American Telemedicine Association
– The first telehealth platform to integrate with Apple’s Health App
– The only service that allows you to select the doctor you want to see for an on-demand visit
You can see a doctor at night, on your phone, or while you are traveling. Telehealth services like Amwell are not meant to replace your Primary Care Physician with an online pediatrician but rather to augment them. I plan to download the mobile app so the next time I’m traveling and need to see a doctor for any minor illness I don’t have to head to an urgent care center.
Telehealth is what’s going to be the next big thing in health care, a great article by the LA Times goes deeper into the data and research.
Here’s a little video that will tell you more about how Amwell works:
This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Amwell, my children are really sick, I really used the service, I really liked the doctor and am following his advice. It’s lovely when my children cooperate with my campaigns.