Did you know that more than 71 percent of U.S. healthcare providers now offer some level of telehealth through organizations such as Teladoc?1 Even though technical advances started even before NASA began monitoring astronauts’ health remotely in the 1950s, the industry has grown so much and so fast that today, more than 7 million people around the world use telehealth services and devices such as apps, virtual visits, and smart tools (interactive thermometers, wearable monitors, and glucose meters, for example).2
The number of telehealth facilities today has almost doubled since 2016.3 Telehealth has become an invaluable component of care in the U.S., and even the federal government supports its development and expansion of availability, especially into rural areas.
Almost all patients (95 percent) are satisfied with telehealth services they have received,4 citing convenience and economy among the greatest benefits.5 On average in the U.S., the wait time for a virtual visit with a doctor is about 20 minutes,6 and the cost is no more than $45.7 By contrast, the average wait time for an office visit with a primary care physician (PCP) can range from a few days to more than three weeks, and the average emergency room visit can cost more than $1,200!8
Choosing a care facility
When’s the best time to use a telehealth service? Here’s a quick guide for selecting the type of care facility:
- Telehealth: In general, Teladoc can conveniently diagnose and treat most non-emergency conditions such as flu, seasonal allergies, upper respiratory infections, and more by phone or video. We can also prescribe medications when necessary.
- Family doctor: You’ll want to see your PCP for annual checkups and sports physicals, and to manage ongoing conditions (e.g., diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, etc.).
- Urgent care: Located in many communities, urgent care centers are a good choice when you need in-person treatment for conditions such as sprains, minor cuts, and allergic reactions.
- Emergency room: When you have a threatening condition that needs immediate attention—chest pain, difficulty breathing, uncontrolled bleeding, broken bones—call 911 or go to your nearest ER.
With Teladoc, convenience is the key; you can schedule a visit 24/7 anywhere you are in the U.S. and be connected with a doctor licensed in your state in as little as 10 minutes! We’re available by app, web, or phone. And remember, your spouse or partner and other dependents—even a care recipient*—may also be eligible to use Teladoc.
*Availability of this benefit depends on the plan that your employer or healthcare provider selects
2,3Becker’s Hospital Review
4National Center for Biotechnology Information
5America’s Health Insurance Plans
7Internal Teladoc data
This portion of the Teladoc website occasionally offers health, fitness, and nutritional information and is provided for educational purposes only. You cannot rely on any information provided here as a substitute for or replacement of professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Teladoc cannot assure that the information contained on this site always includes the most recent findings or developments with respect to the particular subject matter covered.
If you ever have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. Do not disregard, avoid, or delay obtaining medical or health-related advice from your healthcare professional because of something you may have read on this site. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.
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