Healthcare is perhaps one of the most important human activities that requires travel. While nearly all Americans live close to a primary care physician, many live a considerable distance from specialists. Travel can be costly, especially from rural areas. Thankfully, more Americans are utilizing virtual doctor services for their healthcare needs.
A virtual doctor exists because of the rise of video communication services, such as Skype. Once the domain of science fiction, virtual doctors started to appear in the early 21st century, when videoconferencing became cheap enough. The first terminals were bulky, and practical only in the office of another doctor or large corporation.
The virtual doctor of today is much more nimble. Using two way video communication technology, a patient can speak with and see an online doctor with only a camera and a laptop or mobile device. A patient can receive an online doctor consultation when with his primary care physician, but he can also get a consultation in his home, his office, or anywhere he can get a data connection.
Best of all, a virtual doctor can perform the services of any doctor physically close to you. A virtual doctor can perform and online diagnosis and prescription of medication. So looking as this doctor is in the U.S, he can offer you services online that a patient would otherwise have to travel for. This saves on the cost of transportation and lodging, so the patient only pays the fees for the consultation. As the online physician now has a wider market, he may also cost less than an in person visit, for he is subject to competitive price pressures.
A virtual doctor can help patients from anywhere in the U.S. By offering services such as consultation and online doctor prescription, the virtual doctor is just as effective as one in person. In turn, the patient can save on travel and lodging. This not only saves him money, but allows him to maintain or recover his health in the privacy of his own home.