"Telehealth" is a term coined by the medical industry to describe the relatively new practice of physicians consulting with patients via telephone, secure email or other online messaging, or even video teleconferencing (via computer-based instant messaging clients such as Skype or GoToMeeting). Technology is continually providing more efficient solutions to the practice and implementation of health care, and one of them is reducing the associated costs and inconveniences of traditional in-office visits by offering telephone and online visits instead.
Telemedicine providers are trained and board-certified family physicians and other medical professionals who provide over-the-phone or online consultations, diagnoses, prescriptions, and other recommendations for basic ailments such as ear infections, urinary tract infections and muscle strain. The advantage of using a telemedicine doctor for minor ailments and physical health issues are numerous. First and foremost, there is savings of both money (gas/transportation)and time (sitting in a waiting room, then waiting in an exam room). Then there is the added benefit of not potentially exposing others to a contagious infection; or exposing yourself to other's contagious infections.
If you are interested in connecting with a medical provider who provides telehealth services, check first with your local doctor, as they may offer the service themselves, or be able to make recommendations for you.