For years, the compelling argument for telemedicine has been that it allows patients to access doctors at any time and from any place. Now doctors are finding that they can use telemedicine platforms to improve – and in some cases expand – their practice.
Telemedicine vendors like American Well, Teladoc and Ring-A-Doc are launching or have launched business plans aimed at physicians, enabling them to create platforms to communicate with their existing patients. Company executives say the platforms can also be used by physicians to enhance their practice, either by reaching out to more patients or developing a specialty service.
“We’ve introduced a whole different model of selling our system to private practices,” says Roy Schoenberg of American Well, which launched its physician-facing services earlier this year after “playing around” with the concept for most of 2011. “This is all completely brand-new to them.”