Legitimate Online Prescribers

From an article in USA Today, it sounds like tele-prescribing or virtual prescribing is making some steps forward.  It’s no longer a scam business set up to allow people to skirt the system but a legitimate set of online companies leveraging technology to make it easier for patients.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

With big companies and start-ups working in this space, it will likely take the same route as the clinics have taken in getting physician support although most of these described in the article seem to have physician involvement.  Will they protest their peers?

Eventually, this won’t even be a debate as we can use home monitoring devices that plug into our computer or smartphone or iPad app to tell temperature, blood pressure, and other key statistics.  I can see some cool scenarios being explored about how to allow the physician to do a virtual physical exam to complement the patient reported data.  I can also believe that an online record of the patient’s symptoms will be easier to pull into an EMR / PHR than the physician’s notes.

The one thing the article doesn’t bring up is why the physician isn’t accessing a PHR (personal health record) to conduct the exam.  I would think that should be a requirement for patients to use this.  Make them go thru the step of pulling their history into an online tool and adding data about OTCs and allergies.  Then, the virtual consultation would have a physician with all (most) of the data readily available.

You match that with some specific symptoms, some realtime data, and you have a recipe for improved care.

The three companies that the article mentions are:

 

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