Alpine - ALPINE (ABC4 Utah News) - New technology is changing the face of medicine by allowing patients to have face to face to face consultations through their phones, tablets or laptops.
Utah dermatologist Dr. Cheryl Lee Eberting is at the forefront of this revolution with a recently launched telemedicine platform called Azova.
"Shelly, this looks like a cold sore," Dr. Eberting told a patient during an online consultation. "I would recommend taking acyclovir 400 milligrams a day, 3 times a day for 5 days."
The diagnosis, treatment and prescription all done through Azova.
"Healthcare as we know it is over with Azova," Dr. Eberting said with a laugh.
The new platform allows patients to consult with their own doctor who can then collaborate with a network of physicians and specialists all over the world. The patient controls scheduling and follow up with an easy to use interface.
"You can get help while you're at school or at work or on a hike," Dr. Eberting told ABC4 Utah New. "And I can take care of you in a couple of minutes and you don't have to come to my office."
Dr. John Barrett is the Medical Director of Urgent Care at the University of Utah which has their own telemedicine system called Virtual Visits. He says it's great for some situations but there are limitations.
"We still can't touch someone," Dr. Barrett said. "We can't really look in their ears. We can't really listen to their lungs, all those sorts of things and those are drawbacks because obviously when you're talking to someone about their medical issues and medical problems, you want to make sure they're safe."
Still, like Netflix has done for movies or iTunes for music, many say this is the future of medicine.
"You think of Amazon. Amazon did this for books. We're doing it for healthcare," Dr. Eberting said. "You know Amazon didn't get rid of brick and mortar stores they just made it easier for you to get what you need, when you need it. Telemedicine is not going to get rid of brick and mortar healthcare facilities but it's going to make it easier for you to get the help that you need when you need it."
Prices vary according to the physician and interaction type. For instance, Dr. Eberting charges from $19 for a text response to a question up to $129 for a live video consultation.
For more information, go to http://azovahealth.com/
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