As healthcare becomes increasingly digitized and consumerized, companies in this sector are starting to realize that telehealth is no longer something that can be postponed into the distant future, but rather a service that healthcare providers need to provide to consumers in the here and now. Currently, more than half[¹] (52%) of patients would prefer a virtual visit if given the choice, suggesting that telehealth is here to stay. Unfortunately, many healthcare companies are now playing catch-up[²] to those companies that were the quickest to anticipate the trend towards telehealth.
As is the case with any business, companies that foresee future needs and adapt quickly set the bar for the rest of the pack. Certain telehealth companies have networks of healthcare professionals already activated and the technology in place to safely and effectively provide care[³]. Consequently, if healthcare companies do not provide their own telehealth solution as a safe and convenient option, many patients will opt to use different services, resulting in the company’s loss of clients and revenue. These companies may begin to see patients circumventing their in-house providers in favor of one of the following top telehealth providers.
Leading telehealth companies
1. Doctor on Demand™
Doctor on Demand™ is significant because they were the first telehealth company to open up access to patients with Medicaid and Medicare[⁴]. With an app rating of 4.9 on both iPhone™ and Android™ platforms[⁵], it seems the overwhelming majority of the company’s customers are highly satisfied with their service. According to their website, their network of providers is the most diverse[⁶] in the business.
Perhaps the largest of the telehealth companies, MDLIVE’s® services can be accessed by more than 60 million people through their insurance. According to the company’s website, they also boast the largest network[⁷] of experienced professionals and claim that the average wait time to consult with their professionals is 15 minutes[⁸] or less. MDLIVE is also known for quality mental health professionals.
This telehealth company claims that their advanced technology[⁹] makes their services safe, secure, and easy to use, especially with smartphone usage. PlushCare’s™ app is integrated with other necessary parties, such as the patient’s insurance and pharmacy so that care is completely streamlined[¹⁰]. They can work together with insurance companies or offer a co-pay option for those without insurance.
Although Lemonaid® is a smaller telehealth company, what sets them apart is that they offer the whole package: consultation, diagnosis, and treatment all on the same day. Their website states that they aim to review requests for services and connect patients with a provider in 24 hours or less[¹¹]. Patients pay a flat $25 consultation fee, then the Lemonaid pharmacy delivers for free, so consumers only pay for the cost of the medication.
Amwell® is a telehealth company that is designed[¹²] to be fast, convenient, and reliable. Consumers can expect next-day appointments or even same-day services, with some consultations lasting as little as 10 minutes. Providers can write prescriptions and even offer homeopathic solutions so that consumers can begin experiencing treatment as soon as possible.
A new telehealth solution
As healthcare companies are seeking a solution moving forward, it is important to examine what makes the top telehealth companies successful now and anticipate how consumer demands might change in the future. As technology continues to evolve, healthcare solutions should incorporate modern technology that can facilitate new workflows so clinics can better serve their patients.
The main focus should be on allowing clients to keep their in-house providers to ensure that it doesn’t compromise its patients’ quality of care when they need to utilize telehealth rather than an in-person visit. Most telehealth companies cannot guarantee that a consumer will meet with the same provider each appointment. Consequently, providing consumers the option to stay with their in-house practitioners will give some telehealth companies an edge over others.
Healthcare organizations can now access a telehealth feature through Bridge that allows patients to have virtual visits with their preferred healthcare providers. Using Zoom® for Healthcare, the telehealth feature integrates virtual visits as an optional add-on module to the base portal software. Bridge’s telehealth solution uses cutting-edge technology to provide patients with a single point of access from start-to-finish for everything from booking an appointment to messaging with their provider after a visit. Patients can now have a secure, convenient, and safe virtual appointment with their in-house primary healthcare providers.
DISCLAIMER: All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Bridge Patient Portal is not affiliated, endorsed, or sponsored in any way by the service providers mentioned in this article.
- Accenture. (2020). How Can Leaders Make Recent Digital Health Gains Last? [online] Accenture. Available at: https://www.accenture.com/_acnmedia/PDF-130/Accenture-2020-Digital-Health-Consumer-Survey-US.pdf.
- Scales, J. (2020). Telehealth as a Long-Term Solution. [online] LearnTelehealth. Available at: https://learntelehealth.org/2020/10/telehealth-as-a-long-term-solution/
- Lamb, K. (2018). Can you identify 7 qualities of a successful telehealth program? [online] LearnTelehealth. Available at: https://learntelehealth.org/2018/08/can-identify-7-qualities-successful-telehealth-program/
- Smith, C H (2020). Doctor On Demand Medical Care Now Available to 33 Million Medicare Part B Beneficiaries. [online] Business Wire. Available at: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200513005217/en/Doctor-Demand-Medical-Care-33-Million-Medicare
- Healthline. (2020). Best Telemedicine Apps of 2020. [online] Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/best-telemedicine-iphone-android-apps#doctor-on-demand
- Doctor On Demand. (n.d.). Virtual Visit Doctors and Psychologists. [online] Doctor On Demand. Available at: https://www.doctorondemand.com
- MDLIVE. (n.d.). Our Online Doctors – MDLIVE Telehealth Company. [online] Available at: https://www.mdlive.com/become-a-provider/our-providers/
- Healthline. (2020). Best Telemedicine Apps of 2020. [online] MDLIVE. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/best-telemedicine-iphone-android-apps#mdlive.
- PlushCare. (n.d.). How It Works. [online] PlushCare. Available at: https://plushcare.com/how-it-works/.
- DeMuro, J P (2020). PlushCare review. [online] TechRadar. Available at: https://www.techradar.com/reviews/plushcare
- Lemonaid Health. (n.d.). Lemonaid Health – FAQs. [online] Lemonaid Health. Available at: https://www.lemonaidhealth.com/faq
- Becker, K. (2021). The best telemedicine services for anyone unable to visit a doctor’s office in person. [online] Insider. Available at: https://www.insider.com/best-telemedicine-services#amwell-5