How to talk to a doctor online if you’re in a coronavirus quarantine

Making a visit to the physician might not all the time an possibility, however because of tech, you’ll be able to contact yours on-line. 

Ahead Well being

For probably the most up-to-date information and details about the coronavirus pandemic, go to the WHO website.

It is late at evening and also you’re coming down with one thing: itchy throat, watery eyes, pounding head, aching abdomen. Do you push via the ache till morning, when you’ll be able to see your major care doctor, or rush to the emergency room the place you might end up with a hefty bill? And in instances of disaster just like the coronavirus pandemic, do you danger contagion by sitting in a ready room to see your nurse practitioner or physician for an in-person medical care appointment?

In both state of affairs — or some other state of affairs the place you won’t wish to or cannot journey to a physician’s workplace — you’ll be able to decide up your telephone and, in a matter of some faucets, clarify your signs to a web-based physician who can instantly advise you on one of the best course of remedy via a digital go to utilizing a telehealth app.    

That is because of the rise of telemedicine, an umbrella time period that covers all of the methods you’ll be able to obtain medical care by way of textual content, on-line chat, telephone, video and sure, even apps. On-line medical doctors can diagnose and deal with a variety of medical circumstances, together with allergies, cold and flu, fevers, bronchial asthma, ear infections, UTIs and a lot extra via a web-based physician session. And, relying on the actual digital care you obtain, you should utilize your common medical insurance.

You should not use a telemedicine service as a everlasting alternative to your major care physician (aside from the hybrid fashions talked about on the finish of this text), however connecting with a superb physician by way of telemedicine can positively show useful once you’re in your third field of tissues and the contents of your drugs cupboard aren’t serving to.

You additionally should not use telehealth providers once you expertise a real emergency, like hassle respiration, otherwise you maintain an damage that wants quick consideration, like a damaged bone (that will be a bit difficult to diagnose precisely and deal with successfully by way of video). All that stated, listed here are 10 methods to speak to a physician on-line.

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Apps and websites

Online-only health care systems put doctors and nurses within arm’s reach at all times. While you can’t rely on these services for things like X-rays and surgery, you can lean on them for a virtual doctor visit when you need a quick diagnosis for the flu or other common conditions. 


Available 24/7, doctors on Amwell can diagnose and treat an impressive number of health conditions, and that includes prescribing medication and sending it to your preferred pharmacy. Amwell also offers urgent care online. Without insurance, the baseline cost for a visit is $69. 


Teladoc can diagnose and treat just about any general medical condition you can think of, and offers specialist services for mental health, dermatology, sexual health and tobacco cessation. Teladoc can also prescribe medications if necessary. Unlike some other services, Teladoc doesn’t put a time cap on your visit — you can talk to your doc as long as you like, a refreshing feeling in an industry that typically tries to cycle patients in and out as fast as possible. The cost of a Teladoc visit varies, depending on your plan and insurance. Learn more on its FAQ page.


Most telemedicine apps and websites allow you to choose from video, phone or text to chat with a doctor.


Doctor On Demand

Doctor On Demand breaks its services down into four main categories: urgent care, behavioral health, preventative health and chronic care, with the preventative health category being relatively unique. For instance, most online-only health services don’t offer preventative lab screening services like Doctor On Demand. The baseline cost for a visit at Doctor On Demand without insurance is $75.


A bit different than the rest of the services on this list, Tyto is an at-home medical exam kit that allows you to check for common conditions by sending high-quality video and audio to a doctor on the other end of the app. Your doctor hears your heart and lungs and sees your ears, throat and skin to diagnose conditions like ear infections, cold, flu, allergies and rashes.


MDLive can help with common medical conditions, as well as mental health and dermatological conditions. If you receive a diagnosis, MDLive can prescribe medication and send it to your preferred pharmacy. Via the MDLive app, you can access care at any time. 

Without insurance, the baseline cost for a visit is $75. Depending on your insurance plan, MDLive may not cost anything for you. 


SteadyMD takes a different approach than most telehealth companies by breaking its services down by lifestyle, such as SteadyMD for Paleo, SteadyMD for Runners and SteadyMD for Weightlifters. Like other telemedicine apps, you can talk to your SteadyMD doctor at any time through text, phone or video chat. 

K Health

If you want to find out more about your symptoms, but not necessarily talk to a doctor (although you have the option to), try K Health. This app aggregates data from millions of users — don’t worry, it’s secure — and shows you how doctors have previously treated patients with symptoms similar to yours. This can help in situations when you’re not quite sure what to do, for instance, if you don’t know whether you have a cold or are experiencing allergies

If you do want to speak to a doctor, K Health’s affiliated physicians can diagnose, prescribe medications, order lab tests and refer you to a specialist or urgent care near you. The app itself is free, but you’ll need to pay a small fee to chat with a doctor. K Health prices range based on the services you need and your insurance, but the company is offering free services for patients with COVID-19 symptoms.

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All of the above telehealth services offer their own 24/7 care numbers, as do most insurance companies. You can find your insurance company’s hotline by searching “[insurance company] nurse hotline” on the internet. Normally, all you’ll want to do is enter your geographic location and plan kind, after which you’ll be able to name. 

However in case you’re uninsured, you could be questioning the place to show in case you simply want a fast query answered over the telephone. Free helpline choices for the uninsured inhabitants are restricted, however you do have just a few. 

Many states provide free nurses on-call hotlines, as do particular person hospitals. To search out them, it is often a matter of a fast Google seek for “free nurse hotline [state or hospital].”

You may also go to the National Institutes of Health hotline page to seek out telephone numbers for particular well being circumstances, together with allergic reactions, coronary heart well being, psychological well being and extra. 

Hybrid fashions

Hybrid telehealth companies mix in-person medical care and on-line providers for a seamless system. These fashions can substitute conventional major care with an possibility that offers you simpler entry to your physician, longer visits and deeper insights about your well being.


Hybrid fashions like Ahead Well being mix in-person major care with tech to create a seamless, handy technique to get the care you want.

Ahead Well being

One Medical 

With One Medical, you’ll be able to e-book appointments, renew prescriptions, entry medical information and get well being reminders all throughout the One Medical app. In case you’re not feeling an in-person go to, you’ll be able to merely message your physician or have a FaceTime-esque appointment via their video chat software program. One Medical has a yearly membership value of $199, however it additionally provides choices for individuals who cannot afford that price.

Ahead Well being

At this “doctor’s office of the future,” Forward Health a really thorough baseline go to adopted by limitless in-person visits and on-line chats along with your supplier. A membership at Ahead prices $149 monthly, and you do not want insurance coverage to be a member, however it’s extremely really helpful simply in case you’ve got an emergency or you’ll want to see a specialist.

Parsley Well being

For $150 or $250 monthly relying in your plan, Parsley Health provides a powerful array of holistic well being providers. The in-person visits are restricted, however you do get limitless entry to your supplier by way of messaging. 

The knowledge contained on this article is for academic and informational functions solely and isn’t meant as well being or medical recommendation. At all times seek the advice of a doctor or different certified well being supplier relating to any questions you’ll have a few medical situation or well being goals.

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Amanda Capritto