Virtual doctor appointments amid flu epidemic
As more people are getting sick, the risk of infection is growing.
According to the CDC, there have been nearly 9,000 confirmed flu-related hospitalizations. That is almost double the number at this point last year.
Many hospitals are canceling elective surgeries to try and keep beds available for new flu patients, there are Tamiflu and IV bag shortages, and hospital staff are working overtime.
With some doctors urging people not to flood the ERs unless they are really sick and some patients worried about catching something else, virtual doctors visits are booming.
New York-Presbyterian offers patients its NYP On-Demand Virtual Urgent Care program, which allows users to schedule a doctor's visit virtually through their smartphone or computer.
With virtual doctors visits patients can get a flu diagnosis and in some cases, even Tamiflu prescriptions right from their smartphone. With the Doctor on Demand app, virtual appointments cost $75 for a 15 minute consultation.