The last time I went to the doctor, I sat in the waiting room, tapping away at my iPhone and sighing under my breath, for almost an hour. Maybe that’s extreme (for non-emergency room visits at least) but even the national average, according to a recent analysis, is 21 minutes. And that doesn’t include time spent booking the appointment, waiting for a slot to open up or transporting yourself to the office. Emergency room wait times can be much worse – from more than an hour to four hours, depending on who you ask.
But an emerging group of startups is trying to make healthcare more convenient by connecting patients and doctors for phone calls, Web video chats or written replies. The virtual doctor concept isn’t new. Companies like Teledoc and American Well have been giving patients 24/7 access to doctors via phone and video chats since the early- and mid-2000s. But while those companies offer services through employers or healthcare organizations, newer startups are going straight to the consumer or appealing to them with lighter-weight, simpler options.
See on gigaom.com