MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - A new technology allows patients to have it a bit easier when they're under the weather. It's called "telehealth visits" and the help you need is in the palm of your hands. How many times have you sat in the waiting room far past your appointment time? That may be a thing of the past, but traditional doctors don't seem to buy into it. Apps like Doctors on Demand, Amwell, and MeMD have one thing in common. They connect you to a doctor that can dramatically cut down time and cost when it comes to recovering.
"The process is very simple although it looks complicated," explains MeMD's Dr Jelani Ingram. "The patient decides if they have an issue or they may not know if they have an issue that can be fixed from a telehealth visit so they call MeMD."
Dr. Ingram tells us all you have to do is pay the $50 fee and then provide some information about your medical history. A care coordinator will speak with you and if your condition is telehealth suitable, the doctor will be coming to you.
"I call the patient back as quickly as I can and we get the visit underway and most patients are happy about it because it's something that can be fixed fairly quick without visiting the waiting room and the doctor's office," said Dr. Ingram.
But keep in mind, not all health concerns warrant a virtual visit.
"There is a lot of patients that I send to the ER or primary care doctor or urgent care clinic," said Dr. Ingram. "Most of those issues deal with next level problems."
Dr. Ingram predicts there will be a growing trend in telehealth, but not all doctors feel the same. Dr. Mohsin Syed of Concierge MD in Midland says without a physical appointment, patients are losing the intimacy of doctor visits.
"Call me old fashioned, but I like to examine a patient," Dr. Syed explained. "I like to have my hands on the patient to make sure what I'm doing to them or giving to them is going to work for them."
However, what lacks in the personalized care, Dr. Jelani says is made up for when you sit down and look at costs.
"Well you are significantly reducing the cost of that healthcare service," he said. "You're reducing the wait time, how much the employer has to spend on hours lost from the patient leaving their job, so it's a global impact."
When you log in to MeMD for a consultation, you are connected with a different doctor every time unless you request otherwise, which Dr. Syed says breaks the trust between the patient and physician.
"It's the satisfaction that the patient gets when they see a physician who they trust," Dr. Syed said.
Some doctors will choose to keep their business strictly face-to-face.
"My patients are here in Midland, Texas," Dr. Syed said. "I see them all the time. I know my patients. "
And some will be available for you from the comfort of your home.
"Patients like it because they can request appointment times from MeMD and we can call at their leisure, or they don't even have to work to be able to be treated for common problems," said Dr. Jelani.