Tag Archives: telehealth

Telemedicine is Often Called in for Tricky Cases

Telemedicine sets the stage for a life-saving collaboration between emergency physicians and faraway specialists for difficult medical cases. Let’s take a look at a few specific examples where telemedicine saved the day:

  1. A Complicated Infection

    When a 74-year-old man living in Utah went to his local ER department for a very stiff and painful neck that wasn’t responding to OTC meds, they were surprised to detect a severe Staph infection around his collarbone. After they conducted surgery, the man met with an infectious diseases specialist who was hours away via telemedicine. The specialist then managed the man’s post-operative care to ensure the complex, invasive infection wouldn’t resurface and to help with the complications it caused. This was conducted through a telemedicine program called Intermountain which has telemedicine equipment set up in over 1000 rooms in 22 different hospitals in Utah to help faraway specialists manage complex cases like this.

  2. A Child’s Gunshot Wound in War-Torn Congo

    Heartbreakingly, a small girl was shot through the hand by armed forces in her village, and doctors who tended to her complicated wound wondered whether or not to amputate the limb. Luckily, telemedicine provided the opportunity for photographs and information about the wound to be sent to a specialist who decided that debriding the wound would be a better move than amputation, saving the girl’s hand. Tragically, many people in war-torn or developing nations suffer multitudes of unfathomable medical emergencies and are out of reach of speciality healthcare. Telemedicine has stepped up to this deficit in recent years, allowing countless lives to be bettered and saved through correspondence with specialists in other parts of the world and the local medical workers.

  3. A Baby’s Life Hanging in the Balance

    A few years ago, a mother from Hudson, New York took her sick baby to a hospital, only to be told it was just a run-of-the-mill virus and to let her rest. When the baby would not wake from her nap, the mother frantically rushed her to another hospital, where a telemedicine conference with pediatric specialist, Dr. Jennifer Needle, was set up. Based on the teleconference, Dr. Needle was able to diagnose the baby with a life-threatening meningococcemia infection and ordered a breathing tube, saving the baby’s life while she was transferred to another hospital for emergency treatment.

These are just a few of the numerous individual cases whereby lives were saved and bettered by telemedicine. Thanks for visiting DocChat! If you have any medical inquires or issues, feel free to sign up today for a teleconference with one of our board-certified physicians.

Studies Say Telemedicine is Improving Chronic Condition Management

Recent studies illustrate how telemedicine is proving an effective tool in the management of chronic conditions. One study focused on how telemedicine enables diabetics to self-manage better. The 18-month study monitored diabetic patients who were set up to use a mobile glucometer, an online diabetes management program and a medical consultation service. The results indicated great improvement in the management of these patients’ care when it came to things like staying active, taking medication properly heating healthy and coping better.

Another study focused on how patients with chronic lung, heart or arthritic conditions utilized online resources and technology-based support groups to help better self-manage and cope with their chronic conditions.

The telemedicine and technological worlds are expanding together, and offering so many more tools and resources to people with life-long conditions than they had access to before. Some patients benefit from consulting their own doctors from the comfort of their home, or utilising services like DocChat which enable patients to get expert medical advice and treatment without exposing themselves to the dangers or inconveniences of a hospital or clinic.

In light of these recent developments, the future is looking much brighter for those with chronic health conditions.



Telemedicine is Improving Healthcare for Veterans

Our veterans have done so much for our country, but unfortunately they haven’t been adequately taken care of by our healthcare system. Over 3 million veterans are dispersed across rural areas that are inaccessible to the proper care. Many have disabilities or serious health conditions that make it difficult for them to travel to hospitals and clinics that are miles away. Moreover, those who are willing and able to travel still have to wait months for an appointment. But luckily telemedicine has been answering their call for better and quicker healthcare.

Gaining More Ground With Veterans

Telemedicine has been helping struggling veterans for some time now (DocChat for example works with several), but unfortunately most veterans weren’t even aware of the option until recently. It was actually the long, tiring, traffic-laden commute from West Los Angeles, where many veterans live, to the V.A. outpatient clinic in Oxnard that prompted the V.A. to start focusing on telehealth as the solution to problems like this.

The Veterans of Ventura County 

Over 6,000 of the 60,000 veterans living in Ventura County are already starting to use telemedicine to eliminate wait-times, commuting and the hassle of doctor’s appointments that are so far out of reach. Many of them consult with their Oxnard doctor via skype. Some of their local clinics are even set up with machinery such as electronic stethoscope and ophthalmoscope attachments so the corresponding doctor can take blood pressure and other vital information while consulting on skype. Hopefully more and more veterans will become aware of the option to use telemedicine services like DocChat or consult with certain doctors via skype so they are increase the quality of their care. What can’t technology do?

Thanks for visiting DocChat! If you are a veteran who is interested in telemedicine, sign up today to try a video consultation with one of our experienced, board certified physicians!

Telemedicine Mythbusters (Part 1)

Telemedicine is finally on the rise as many people are starting to see just how convenient and effective it is to see your doctor from home, however, many still aren’t convinced that it is an adequate stand-in for a traditional doctor’s visit. In some ways telemedicine actually surpasses brick-and-mortar medicine, such as:

  • Allowing the efficiency of skipping waiting rooms, commute time or having to take time off work to see a doctor
  • Making healthcare more accessible
  • Providing continuing care for chronic conditions
  • Allowing easy follow-up care
  • Providing a safer medicinal route for those with mobility issues or the elderly who may have troubles venturing out.

Next, we want to bust some common telemedicine myths that may be barriers standing in the way of people embracing telemedicine:

  1. You need a physical examination for any doctor’s visit

This is mostly untrue. By the American Medical Association’s calculations, up to 78% of health matters can be addressed via telemedicine. That 78% covers a lot of ground including (but not limited to): infections, rashes, acne, arthritis, minor injuries, STIs, allergies, asthma, as well as management of chronic conditions such as diabetes and many more. Telemedicine acts as triage as well, letting you know if your medical problem is something that needs the be examined, or preventing you from spending a whole day (and pocket-full) in the ER for something that can be managed from home. Never underestimate the power of technology – the doctor will be able to tell a lot from high definition video conferences, photos or videos.

  1. Give medical details over the internet? What about my privacy?

Not all telemedicine companies have the same level of information protection, but speaking from DocChat’s perspective, we use government-standard 256bit AES block cipher and SHA2 encryption to ensure your sensitive information is under unbreakable lock-and-key. DocChat also strictly adheres to HIPAA privacy laws so needless to say, your medical information is safe with us!

  1. Telemedicine doctors aren’t the same as “real” doctors though, right?

Telemedicine doctors are real doctors. Once again, we can’t speak from the point of view of all telemedicine companies, however, all of our DocChat physicians are board certified and just as qualified as any doctor you would visit at a clinic. Many of our physicians also have years of emergency room work under their belts. We conduct a rigorous vetting process to ensure we have only the best working on our team. However, be sure to practice caution when it comes to searching telemedicine companies, as not all of them are as strict about physician vetting. Some companies may not have board certified physicians, so do your research. Another facet of telemedicine includes independent hospital and clinic doctors who also run virtual practices for their rural or immobile patients.

  1. But I won’t be able to get my prescription for the infection I have!

Sure you will! When appropriate, DocChat doctors can prescribe any non-narcotic prescriptions that a face-to-face doctor would. Have an infection? DocChat physicians will happily help you out by issuing antibiotics directly to your pharmacy for pickup or delivery!

  1. You have to be a tech-savvy millennial to use telemedicine

This one is also untrue. While many people may think telemedicine is a complicated, mysterious notion more suited to the younger phone-loving generation, this isn’t the case. It is a great service for all ages. Over 60% of senior Americans go online via smartphone, tablet or laptop regularly and many of our current regular patients are senior Americans who love not having to make a trip out every time they need doctor’s advice. All you need to see a doctor via telemedicine is an internet connection and a website or app. Simply install our easy-to-use DocChat app, sign up and you’re ready to go!

So there you have it, a few common telemedicine myths busted! Stay tuned for Part 2 in the future. Thanks for visiting DocChat!

Telemedicine for Minor Immediate Issues

Did you ever have to spend all day in pursuit of a last minute doctor’s appointment or emergency care just for a simple complaint that was easily rectified? We’ve all been there. But luckily, there is a quicker and easy one-word answer to these small health inquiries – telemedicine!

While telemedicine is great for helping control chronic conditions like arthritis as well as to diagnose and treat most common medical issues (up to 78% of complaints, according to the AMA), telemedicine especially excels when it comes to quick problems.

When we say “quick problems” we are talking about such one-time ailments as:
•    Sunburn or small minor burns
•    Uncontrolled dandruff
•    Quick medical questions (such as medication interactions)
•    Heartburn or diarrhea
•    Skin infection
•    Yeast or urinary tract infection
•    Sore throat or cough
•    Rash
•    Conjunctivitis
•    Suspicious bug bite
•    Fever

Basically, we’re talking about problems that may be easily fixed with an antibiotic prescription or special pharmacological cream. It is one thing to spend hours waiting for a same-day appointment or emergency care for something serious and complex, but isn’t life too short to waste precious time, money and patience on appointments for things that can be easily handled in the comfort of your living room?

Thanks for visiting DocChat!

10 Reasons Why Telemedicine Is Only Now Taking Off


Even though the concept of telemedicine has been floating around for decades, it is only really beginning to soar as of late. Why, if we had this revolutionary concept right underneath our noses, are we just beginning to utilize it? There are many reasons for this, some of which include:

  1. Technological growth is perhaps the primary reason telemedicine is finally getting its due. With all our modern advancements, the digital stage is now set for telemedicine to shine. With faster internet connections, wi-fi available almost anywhere and better software being manufactured, a video conference is as smooth as butter nowadays. Can you imagine having a video chat back when dial-up was commonplace?
  2. Privacy concerns are finally being eradicated. Great strides have been made in the arena of privacy and patient information protection so that people can confidently access online care without the worries that existed years ago. For example, DocChat uses top-tier AES-256 bit encryption which has proven unbreakable.
  3. Reluctance on part of doctors and patients to welcome change and advance with the times has prevented telemedicine from flourishing for decades. Luckily that is finally starting to change.
  4. Obstacles like legality, software development and logistics are only now being ironed out and surmounted. Telemedicine was used broadly before, but now has the potential to be used in very detailed ways that suit patients much better.
  5. Insurance companies like Medicaid are finally opening the door to let telemedicine in. They are beginning to recognize and accept the growing popular demand of telemedicine healthcare.
  6. Smartphones and tablets are opening up possibilities by making healthcare accessible virtually anywhere. Gone are the days of bulky stationary desktops. Now there are telemedicine apps available to allow people to see doctors from anywhere.
  7. Baby boomers are less mobile now and more ‘tech-savvy’ than ever, so even though people think of millennials as the primary users for telemedicine, don’t discount the baby boomers! Older Americans aged 60+ comprise the fastest growing social media demographic, and are getting hip to all kinds of digital trends and opportunities.
  8. The state of the healthcare system has patients frustrated and finally seeking alternatives to crowded germy waiting rooms. People are noticing that certain problems can be circumvented by telemedicine such as travel, wait-times and exposure to germs.
  9. Healthcare costs can be effectively slashed by utilizing telemedicine as well. For example, DocChat video consultations with board certified physicians cost only $50 a pop, with unlimited follow-up for a week! You can avoid travel costs as well as lost work days by using telemedicine.
  10. Triage effectivity. Telemedicine offers an excellent mode of triaging non-critical medical issues. This can cut down on ER congestion countrywide as well as mistakes made by overworked doctors. People are starting to see that they needn’t cart their sick selves all the way to the ER or a clinic to wait around for a prescription that can be obtained in their very own living rooms.

Well that’s our look at why telemedicine was waiting in the wings until now! Thanks for visiting DocChat, we hope you’ll return again soon.




The Family Check-up Can Be As Easy As Click-Click-Click!

It can be quite the kerfuffle trying to get the whole family ready for the biannual trip to the doctor:

  • One or both parents need to take a weekday off to get there
  • They have to pull the kids out of school
  • Cart the whole bunch to a clinic
  • Sit for hours in a germy waiting room for each to finish their respective appointments!
  • Then to the pharmacy possibly and back home before dark (if you’re lucky).Boy, that’s quite the day. Not to mention the costs associated, which could be quite high. So why not check out the alternative? You can see a DocChat physician anytime 24/7 on any day of the year including holidays. The family doctor’s trip can be conducted in your very own living room in a matter of clicks and minutes!

Some of the perks to telemedicine family check-ups include:

  1. Convenience – the ability to stay home to see a doctor allows you the ability to circumvent obstacles standing in the way of a standard family doctor trip like schedule conflicts, time off, travel, and so on. How convenient would it be to get a video conference ready in your own home after work, after school, when you are all home and ready?
  2. Schedule correlation – between the daily hustles and bustles of a household, it can be hard to find a convenient time during the week for everyone to go to the doctor. With school, extra curriculars, work, errands and other commitments, it can be a challenge to get everything to line up just right. It would certainly take less elbow grease to see the doctor from home!
  3. Travel – your family may need to travel across the city, or farther if you live in a rural area to see a doctor. Travel can be expensive whether you have a car or take the bus, not to mention time consuming.
  4. Cost – Forbes estimates over $22,000 annually per family for healthcare in the United States. When you calculate travel costs, the costs of missing work as well as the doctors visit and prescriptions, you can certainly see where that figure comes from. But it doesn’t have to be that high. DocChat offers consultations with unlimited follow-ups for a week for only $50 per person, not to mention you won’t have to worry about travel or missed work costs.

  5. Wait-times – The American Journal of Managed Care estimates a person will spend an average of 37 minutes traveling to and from their appointment, and an approximate 87 minutes at the doctor’s clinic (this includes the wait time as well as the visit), taking into account the average doctor’s visit takes about 15 minutes, that is a fair bit of waiting around. Telemedicine can slice that wait-time to less than 15 minutes, (DocChat’s guarantee).
  6. Germs – there is no refuting the notion that doctors offices, hospitals and clinics are among the most germ-ridden places around, with people riddled with contagious illnesses constantly filtering in and out. This can be dangerous, especially for young children with undeveloped immune systems. A trip to the doctor for one ailment can have you leaving with an additional health issue. Why not stay in the comfort and cleanliness of your own home to see the doctor?

If you are interested in trying telemedicine for your next biannual family doctor’s visit, feel free to sign up to DocChat today to try a video conference with one of our board certified, highly esteemed DocChat physicians!



Telemedicine For Summertime Troubles

Summer is the perfect time of year to give telemedicine a try. Who wants to spend hours arranging, commuting to and waiting for doctor’s appointments when you can deal with up to 78% of all medical concerns via telemedicine in a matter of minutes wherever you are and whenever you need.

  • Get a bad sunburn? Telemedicine can help.

  • Summertime allergies? DocChat is on it.

  • Strain or sprain your ankle hiking? A DocChat video conference is waiting.

  • Bug bites driving you batty? Check in with us!

  • Does your little one have cold-like symptoms? Baby, you can call on us!

  • Did you catch poolside athlete’s foot? No need to step out, stay in and get your care!

  • Nasty skin infection freaking you out? Give us a call!

  • Recreational water illness (RWI)? You know who to call! (Not ghostbusters).
  • Food borne illness while traveling? Call us! We can help.
  • Poison ivy? Ouch! You may need a prescription cream or medication, so call!
  • Fever symptoms? Our excellent docs can help determine the cause and what to do next.
  • Swimmer’s ear? One of the most common summer ailments – we’re here to help!


These are just a few of the many seasonal health issues our top-notch, board certified DocChat physicians can handle! We can issue non-narcotic prescriptions as needed as well, which can save you more time and energy than spending your beautiful summer days running around trying to gather prescriptions in hot, germy waiting rooms! Don’t spend your summer chasing healthcare, let your healthcare come to you. Sign up to DocChat today to start your first video conference with one of our qualified physicians!




Telemedicine for Acne Care and Maintenance

Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, afflicting over 50 million people. Luckily there are many self-care and medical treatments available, as well as different continuing care options such as telemedicine that can help with acne maintenance. Some personal practices that can help acne include:

  1. The National Institute of Arthritis, Muscoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMD) suggests using a mild cleanser and cleaning skin very gently several times a day, such as after a workout. Do not scrub as it can worsen acne.
  2. Be careful shaving
  3. Keep germy fingers off your face! Hands are a breeding ground for germs because of all the contaminated surfaces we touch between hand-washings over the course of a day, these germs can make acne worse by causing infections in already inflamed and irritated hair follicles.
  4. No matter how uncomfortable, do not pick, squeeze, scratch or pinch your pimples or you are likely to develop much worse scarring than someone who doesn’t pick their acne.
  5. Makeup and skincare products can also clog pores making acne worse. The Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) suggests searching for products with acne-friendly labels that include “oil-free”, “non-comedogenic”, or “non-acnegenic” ingredients.
  6. If your hair is oily, shampoo it often with gentle, nonacnegenic shampoo
  7. Be careful with astringents and exfoliants as they can dry out the skin.

Treatment Options For Acne

There are many treatments on the market for acne care and maintenance, depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor or dermatologist may recommend a combination of treatments. Some of the more common acne treatments include:

  • Topical medications such as retinoids (derived from vitamin A), antibiotic creams to reduce germs and redness and Dapsone gel which is usually prescribed to be used with retinoids.
  • Hormone treatment such as combined contraceptives (birth control pills) have shown great promise in reducing acne in females.
  • Oral medications including antibiotics or Isotretinoin, a severe medication reserved for extreme cases of acne or for moderate cases that don’t respond well to other treatments.
  • Blue light therapy, according to the Mayo Clinic, has been used successfully to treat certain cases of acne. Patients can gain access to a handheld blue light device for convenience.
  • Extraction – dermatologists can extract troublesome whiteheads and blackheads using tools.

Unfortunately, the skin is slow to warm up to many treatments, so don’t give up on a course of treatment too quickly as it may take as long as 12 weeks to start taking effect (but usually starts working in 6 weeks). Try to at least give your treatment plan a month before making changes.

Telemedicine For Continued Acne Care

As we’ve mentioned previously, telemedicine can handle up to 78% of all medical issues and complaints, included on the list of these manageable conditions is acne (and other skin disorders). Here at DocChat, we have handled many cases of acne care and management, helping with advice, medication adjustments as well as helping deal with flare-ups. In our HD video consultations, DocChat physicians can examine the person’s skin along with progress photos the patient shares. We may have a jump on brick-and-mortar medicine for conditions like acne because you can access one of our highly knowledgeable DocChat physicians anytime, day or night, 265 days a year which comes in handy when you have a spontaneous flare-up and don’t want to go to the ER or wait weeks for an appointment with your primary care physician.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! Feel free to sign up today to start your first video consultation with one of our board certified physicians!



Telemedicine – A Virtual World’s Answer to Resource Shortages

The American medical system is witnessing plenty a shortfall in our modern world, with population increases, droves of doctors retiring, lack of funding and resources, one may wonder how this mess can be fixed…

Isn’t There A Primary Care Shortage?

There is an undebatable shortage of American primary care physicians in 2016, and the situation it is expected to only to worsen. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMA) predicts that by the year 2025, the United States will see a deficit of over 130,000 primary care doctors. This is startling. One third of American doctors are nearing retirement and there aren’t enough following to fill these shoes.

Where Is Care For Suffering Veterans?

After all the sacrificing American veterans have punched for our country, many have been left on the sidelines when it comes to receiving adequate care. The majority of veterans are dealing with permanent disabilities and illnesses as results of battle injuries but unfortunately, 3.2 million of these veterans are dispersed across rural areas that are virtually inaccessible to quality care.

Why Are Nursing Homes Being Penalized?

Because many older nursing home patients require an abundance of care to maintain chronic conditions and age-related illnesses, hospitalization and readmission rates are alarmingly high. So much so that the CMS began penalizing both hospitals and nursing homes alike 2-3% for each inpatient readmission. Most nursing homes just don’t have adequate medical coverage for the demand of their patients, often only staffing one medical director who can’t possibly work 24/7.

Aren’t Emergency Departments Overburdened?

Yes. Of course they are! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American ER departments receive a whopping 136,300,000 visits annually, with approximately 16,200,000 resulting in inpatient admission. Among the remaining 120,100,000 cases, it is safe to say a fair portion could potentially have been handled at a clinic or primary care office. Furthermore, keep in mind that up to 78% of healthcare complaints can be handled via telemedicine. When ER doctors are overburdened with so many non-critical cases, they are often exhausted by the time a critical case is rolled in on a gurney, leading to mistakes more easily happening.

What About Under Resourced Rural Hospitals?

Many rural communities don’t have access to specialists such as neurologists, so what options do stroke patients or those with other serious conditions in need of continuing care have? Traveling to the nearest city for care is not only expensive, but taxing on someone with health limitations. Not only are specialists lacking in rural areas, but so are primary care physicians. Most of the aforementioned deficits are in rural areas. So what are rural patients to do?

Never Fear – Telemedicine is Here!

Aside from providing accessible, affordable care to anyone regardless of geographic location, in 2016 telemedicine is stepping up to the plate as the much needed answer to all of these dire questions. In our fast-paced digitally evolving world, we would be foolish to dismiss technology as the answer to our increasing problems. Speaking on a more specific level for a minute, DocChat alone has seen immense success working with patients on chronic condition management as well as collaborating with New York City nursing homes, just to name a couple area of prowess. For more information about how telemedicine can adequately combat all these issues visit DocChat today.