Modern Doctors’ House Calls: Skype Chat and Fast Diagnosis
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Modern Doctors’ House Calls: Skype Chat and Fast Diagnosis

Imagine if you are on your own and you need a doctor right away or at least someone to do a fast diagnosis and tell you if you should visit a hospital

Click here to view original web page at mobile.nytimes.comModern Doctors’ House Calls: Skype Chat and Fast Diagnosis

TACOMA, Wash. — One night, when her face turned puffy and painful from what she thought  was a sinus infection, Jessica DeVisser briefly considered going to an urgent care clinic, but  then decided to try something “kind of sci-fi.”

She sat with her laptop on her living room couch, went online and requested a virtual consultation. She typed in her symptoms and credit card number, and within half an hour, a doctor appeared on her screen via Skype. He looked her over, asked some questions and agreed she had sinusitis. In minutes, Ms. DeVisser, a stay-at-home mother, had an antibiotics prescription called in to her pharmacy.

The same forces that have made instant messaging and video calls part of daily life for many Americans are now shaking up basic medical care. Health systems and insurers are rushing to offer video consultations for routine ailments, convinced they will save money and relieve pressure on overextended primary care systems in cities and rural areas alike. And more people like Ms. DeVisser, fluent in Skype and FaceTime and eager for cheaper, more convenient medical care, are trying them out.

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