Telemedicine apps are revolutionizing the medical industry by making it much easier for many people to get help. It’s a simple idea: Most people already have a smartphone or a personal computer, why not use it to speak with a doctor online? The benefits have been huge, giving people access to quick and convenient medical care for a wide range of issues that don’t need to be seen in person. Telemedicine has helped with a looming doctor shortage by making it easier for doctors to see more patients, more quickly. It has also made care more affordable, and made it possible to see specialists if you live in a remote area. The list goes on and on.
The question is, which is the best way to access this care? Below, we list five of the best and most popular telemedicine apps on the market. Each will help you get the medical advice you need, and each has its own strengths. They are listed in no particular order, the choice is up to you!
As of 2018, Amwell was the most downloaded telemedicine app available through Google Play and the App Store. It features 24/7 access to doctors without needing an appointment. Prescriptions can be given online and sent to your pharmacy. Many insurance plans and employers cover Amwell’s services, and it is available in all 50 states. The app’s creator, American Well, also builds the technology underpinning many smaller-scale health apps. Amwell is a solid all-around choice for a variety of needs—from urgent care to therapy, and even breastfeeding support.
Doctor on Demand is also among the most downloaded telemedicine apps, and has one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings. This app can be relied upon for most problems that are not an emergency. These include acute issues like colds and flus, allergies, and rashes, as well as preventative and chronic care. Behavioral health services are robust, with support for everything from anxiety and trauma recovery, to relationship issues. Registration is simple, and the process has gotten positive reviews. If you are new to telemedicine, this can be a good starting point.
Teladoc also offers round-the-clock access to board-certified doctors via phone, its mobile app, or the web any day of the week. Doctors on the app have an average of 20 years experience. Categories of care include urgent care, therapy, dermatology, and sexual health. The app can even help with quitting smoking. Perhaps the most unique feature of Teladoc is its Global Care service. This gives you access to doctors who can speak your language anywhere in the world, and helps you navigate the local healthcare system when you’re traveling abroad. This can be especially useful for employers who want to provide benefits for workers living outside of the country.
HealthTap also provides 24/7 access to doctors. What makes this app unique is its huge database of FAQs, medical studies, and use of artificial intelligence. By entering a question, you can get answers from a network of over 140,000 doctors, within 147 different specialties. An AI doctor can help you browse for answers that fit your condition, and analyze your records to determine the best course of action. You can even use the app to get custom health reminders. The baseline service is free, with online video consultation available as part of the premium package. HealthTap can be a good option if you want access to more reliable health information, and want to streamline your care as much as possible.
The MDLIVE app is another popular option that provides access to doctors and medical care remotely. This app covers issues ranging from minor illnesses, to mental health counseling and dermatology. Both psychiatry and therapy are available at different price points, making things like grief counseling more accessible. MDLIVE has also introduced an artificial intelligence assistant to help streamline the process. By collecting more information up front, doctors can spend more time connecting with a patient’s personal needs, and users can get quicker answers to simpler questions. The app can even provide reminders to help patients stick to their care regimens.
On top of its usefulness for solving more general health problems, telemedicine is also changing how we treat addiction. Ria Health’s app is a good example of how this technology can be specialized to support people struggling with alcohol misuse. Members of Ria’s program get access to doctors and addiction coaches, prescription medications, and 24/7 support, all through their smartphone or desktop. Online support group meetings and digital progress-tracking tools round out the program. Just like the apps above, Ria is using telemedicine to make access to care wider than ever before.