Tag Archives: telemedicine

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.

Telemedicine – A Convenient HealthCare Choice for Winter Problems

Of all seasons, the convenience of telemedicine shines brightest in the winter. Who wants to venture out in the snowy cold to deal with a day of doctor’s appointments or ER waiting rooms when you can see a telemedicine doctor in under 15 minutes? There is no reason to risk a slip-and-fall on the way to the doctor if you can see one from the comfort of your own home. Let’s take a look at some common winter health issues that can easily be treated by telemedicine:

  1. Skin problems – The cold dry air of winter can exacerbate many skin conditions such as eczema and xerosis (extremely dry skin). Sometimes a prescription cream such as a topical corticosteroid is necessary to help winter-related skin flares, but why spend a whole day dealing with a doctor’s appointment or walk-in clinic in the cold when there is another option? You can be connected with a board-certified doctor in minutes who can take a look at your skin via video or photos and prescribe the exact cream you need in minutes flat.
  2. Colds and Respiratory infections – Cold and flu season brings with it more cold germs and infectious bacteria than any other time of year. Do you find you can’t shake the sniffles or worried you may have a sinus infection? Telemedicine can help! Our doctors are emergency experienced and ready to help with any of your sniffling, coughing and sneezing needs!
  3. Too-cold extremities – Do your hands or feet change color in winter and refuse to warm up? You may have Raynaud’s (or another circulation problem), so why not have a telemedicine doc take a look at your skin and deliver a diagnosis along with any necessary treatment? Or, has your skin looked different since you stayed out in the cold too long? If you’re worried you may have gotten a little frostnip (the first stage of frostbite), and want a doctor’s opinion, there’s no quicker or more opportune way to get it than via telemedicine.
  4. Sore throats – If you’ve had a sore throat for a few days and want to make sure you don’t have strep throat or another type of contagious illness, give telemedicine a try. Board certified doctors will look at your photos and look at your throat via high-definition video technology to determine whether you need prescription treatment or not.
  5. Arthritis flares – For reasons not completely explained by medical science, many arthritis sufferers experience flare-ups in the cold winter months. If you’re one of these people, avoid venturing out on the dangerous ice where you could slip and hurt yourself further. Telemedicine doctors can help with chronic condition management, so give it a try today!
  6. Chronic respiratory condition flares – if you have COPD or asthma, you probably find the winter cold to be extremely hard on the lungs. If so, your symptoms likely increase in the winter. Telemedicine doctors can assess your condition and alter your prescription treatment as necessary to help you get through the winter a little easier.

Are you convinced? Give telemedicine a try today! Thanks for visiting DocChat, we hope you’ll return again soon.







Telemedicine: Helping Healthcare Switch From Reactive to Proactive

For decades healthcare has focused more on treating the fallout of health problems after they had become full-blown issues as opposed to screening and preventing future health problems from arising in the first place. Luckily, this is changing as telemedicine and other technologically driven medical advancements make it much easier to screen, check up on and preventatively treat certain health issues like diabetes, heart disease and blindness before they fully develop or become too severe.

6 Examples of Predictive Medical Technology

“Predictive technology” comes to patients today in such readily accessible forms as:

  1. Intelligent phone apps that can take a patient’s vitals and transmit the info to a doctor
  2. Healthcare alerting engines like SARA (Situational Awareness and Response Assistant) help lessen the workload of overburdened nurses, doctors and care attendants by helping monitor and attend to hospital or nursing home patients.
  3. CISOR patient monitoring systems.
  4. Wearable smart technology such as fitness sensors that monitor a person’s normal vitals and routines and can help get them back on track when they deviate a healthy path.
  5. Telemedicine advancements such as mobile retinopathy screening devices that can detect early eye diseases before they become problematic.
  6. Advanced types of screening for silent diseases like lung cancer.

How Telemedicine Companies are Helping Make the Shift

Telemedicine companies like DocChat are help improve healthcare accessibility and affordability which in turn can help patients receive care in a timely manner instead of letting a health problem worsen while waiting months or longer for access to healthcare. Telemedicine companies also act well as a method of screening which problems require immediate medical assistance and which are not serious. Telemedicine is also excellent for monitoring and managing chronic conditions to ensure the patient’s state isn’t silently deteriorating or worsening.

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the impressive strides medical technology is making. Thanks for visiting DocChat! Our board-certified physicians are standing by 24/7/365 to assist you with any of your medical queries!



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 – A Revolutionary Blindness Screening Tool?

Telemedicine can be useful for various types of screening and monitoring of diseases (for example Telestroke monitoring), but unfortunately both doctors and patients are slow-moving to embrace such a convenient answer to health issues that can be caught early and fixed, like diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease associated with diabetes that causes progressive damage to the retinas, often leading to total blindness if left undetected or untreated. Diabetic retinopathy affects up to 80% of diabetics who have had the disease for longer than a couple decades, however, with early detection and regular check-ups, medications and lifestyle changes, retinopathy can be slowed or even stopped. The problem is detecting it in the first place. Many people don’t get the opportunity to regularly (if ever) visit an eye doctor, and the problem is so gradual that some people don’t realize just how bad their eyes have gotten until it is too late to reverse damage.

A Potential Fix?

Recently in Engliand, the implementation of a nationwide telehealth program utilizing mobile blindness and retinopathy screening units has caught thousands of cases early enough to treat, effectively neutralizing diabetic retinopathy as England’s leading cause of blindness. Such a program in the United States could achieve similarly impressive results, if the American populous continues on to better embrace telemedicine.

Telemedicine and Retinopathy of Prematurity

While diabetes eye screening is just an idea so far in America, a relatively new telemedicine system has been actively preventing newborn blindness here, targeting and helping prevent the terrifying condition retinopathy of prematurity (RoP). Sadly, few are aware of the serious blindness risk faced by premature babies born under 2 pounds. They face this devastating type of retina destruction unless it is detected and treated within their first month of life. Thanks to telemedicine, necessary screening is becoming more available to help detect this vision problems of babies.

Last Look at Telemedicine for Eye Care

Telemedicine eye screening could be revolutionary when it comes to providing cost effective screenings to diabetic patients who can’t otherwise access eye care, rural patients, those without health insurance or those in nursing homes. Assistant professor of ophthalmology at Kellogg Eye Center, Dr. Maria Woodward says of telemedicine for eye screenings “Telemedicine has been shown to be a safe method to provide monitoring for diabetic eye care.” However, in a recent study only about 4% of people polled even heard about telemedicine – so there certainly needs to be more awareness to increase acceptance and demand so these services can become available to the general populace. So hopefully, we will begin to see more support and demand for a service similar to England’s which can revolutionize diabetic retinopathy just like it has started to do for RoP.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! We hope you’ll return again soon.


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!

5 Amazing Medical Technology Advancements


Our country’s once skeptical and shaky faith in technologically-based medicine should only be strengthening as brilliant minds constantly collaborate on mystifying new medical technologies that will save more lives, cut down on human error and save time, money and other resources. Some of the latest advancements include:

  1. Patient-Lifting Robots

    Lifting patients is the single largest injury risk factor for nurses and ambulance drivers, seriously injuring thousands of healthcare workers annually. How to remedy these troublesome injuries, lost wages, lawsuits or subsequent patient injuries? Enter, Robot for Interactive Body Assistance (RIBA) which was developed by RIKEN to do exactly this dangerous human task of moving, shifting and lifting heavy patients. RIBA and similar robots greatly increase productivity of workers, freeing them to work on other things, keep patients safe from human error such as accidental dropping, as well as prevent healthcare workers’ terrible back and limb injuries – everybody wins!

  2. Antibacterial Lighting

    Yes, you heard us correctly, antiseptic lights that can actually kill bacteria in a room. Specially developed blue-violet LED lights have the potential to kill dangerous bacteria in hospitals to help decrease the high instance of life-threatening hospital-related patient infections.

  3. Telestroke 

    Mobile stroke units are in place to help provide continuing aftercare to remote stroke victims who can’t continually come in for check ups. Telestroke is an offshoot of telemedicine that allows the patient’s condition to be monitored even when they are not at the hospital or are on the way to the hospital (many ambulances are set up with mobile stroke units). Modern telemedicine has enabled many other types of remote patient monitoring as well.

  4. Bedsore Prevention Clothing

    According to a troubling recent study, over 75 hospital or nursing home patients die daily from bedsore complications. What a tragically simple and preventable way to die as these people are being treated for other conditions. Luckily, medical advancements are witnessing inventions like Project SMART, pants that send short, mild electrical currents to the patient’s underside every ten minutes to increase circulation to the area and give the muscles necessary intermittent movement that can prevent the formation of bedsores. Amazing!

  5. Food Scanning 

    Companies like Tellspec and Scio have developed (or improved upon) personal food scanning technology that can let the person know the true ingredients of a food item so they know what they are putting into their bodies. This will be a must-have for those with allergies or anyone who is health-conscious about specific ingredients.

So there you have it, some of the many wonderful technological advancements in the field of medicine. With all these amazingly helpful gadgets that aid healthcare staff and even save lives, we should all be avid cheerleaders for telemedicine and other modern medical technologies! Thanks for visiting DocChat, keep an eye out for more information about new medical technologies in the future.

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!