The healthcare industry is a big one in the United States today, and countless Americans need to visit a 24 hour urgent care center or visit their private doctor for a checkup. Convenient medical care can be found at a nearby doctor’s office just fine, but a new option has emerged for those interested: virtual doctors. This is not a computer program; it refers to how many doctors can use live video chat and the Internet to see patients remotely, and the doctor and their patient might not even be in the same city block during a checkup. On-demand care can be made more convenient for the patient and doctor alike when the Internet is involved, and some clear benefits are to be had with virtual doctors. A person may look online to find doctors willing to help them, such as searching “Washington online doctor” or “Seattle online doctor” to find someone local. A doctor who’s close by may have a stronger Internet connection.

Why Virtual

It may seen strange at first to get a checkup from a doctor over the Internet, but virtual doctors have their advantages. For one thing, this can eliminate the time that a customer spends inside a wait room at an office. In some cases, a patient may wait a long time to see a doctor, and this is time spent in the waiting room, generally not a productive or fun time. A patient may have a lot of company, and many patients may be ahead of them to see the doctor. An American general physician sees around 3,500 patients every year, and a specialist may get 2,700 visits every single year. This adds up, and a patient may spend a long time waiting for their turn.

This can be dealt with when virtual doctors are used instead. A patient may look to virtual doctor services online and find a doctor who is already ready to see them, or else join a wait list for a virtual doctor’s services. While the patient is on the wait list, he or she can do anything else while they are waiting, such as anything productive at home. A person can’t do much while stuck in a waiting room, but they can get work or hobbies or anything else done at home while waiting for their virtual doctor to see them. If a laptop is involved, a person may even be out in the public while doing this, expanding their options further. In short, using a virtual doctor can cut out unproductive time spent in a real-life waiting room.

For another thing, patients may spare themselves the airborne illnesses of a real doctor’s office. Doctor offices are of course germ-ridden places due to all the ill patients there, and this can lead to disease. If a patient wishes to avoid this, or if they have a legitimate germ phobia, then using a virtual doctor can easily spare them the discomforts of going to a germ-ridden wait room and doctor’s office in general. On top of that, if a patient has no means to get to the doctor’s office, such as not having a car or a nearby bus route, then a virtual office may in fact be their only option, like it or not. A person who has complicated transport issues, such as being wheelchair bound, having a weak immune system, or extreme obesity may also have trouble visiting an office. Instead, a patient with travel difficulties can make use of a virtual doctor.

This is a popular method for patients to see doctors, for the reasons listed above and more. This is a fairly young field, but it has proven popular and is growing fast. A recent study, for example, showed that 52% of people were willing to see a virtual doctor if it meant working with their healthcare provider. Meanwhile, a recent report showed that the virtual doctor industry, or the telemedicine industry, may be worth an impressive $36.2 billion by the year 2020. Most patients agree that it’s important their virtual doctor has access to their medical records, too. With a solid Internet connection, such doctors may have an easy time accessing those records, no physical paperwork needed. This can make telemedicine very flexible.