Last Updated on November 7th, 2018
Technology has made a major impact on today’s healthcare system and made it possible for people to access more advanced medical services in ways that were never possible before. While technology has undoubtedly impacted modern medicine in many ways, one of the biggest changes has come in the form of telemedicine services.
Thanks to companies like AmWell, patients from all over the country can instantly access real, board certified physicians, 24/7 all from their phone. No crowded waiting rooms, no waiting for days to get an appointment and no driving through traffic to see a doctor. Seeing a physician has never been more convenient thanks to telemedicine services and patients of all types are starting to take notice.
Telemedicine already has the seal of approval from the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Psychiatric Association, as well as the American Academy of Dermatology, and AmWell is one of the leaders pushing the charge on this new frontier of medicine. But, how does this all work? And what can patients expect when they turn to an app instead of a doctor’s office for their appointments? Let’s take a deeper look.
AmWell, or American Well, is a 24/7 online telemedicine service that patients can access from their web browser or from the company’s smartphone app. They are the nation’s largest telehealth company. This healthcare service treats common non-emergency but urgent care conditions all for a set fee per visit. The price of these appointments is designed to be a fraction of the cost of a standard emergency room visit (and not much higher than the average co-pay).
According to AmWell, they designed their services for those who have trouble fitting a doctor’s appointment into their schedule, are unsure if they should go to the emergency room or not, and those who want to see their doctor but have found their office is closed. AmWell is also set up to help those who need a second opinion, don’t have insurance or who simply need advice from a family member or loved one.
If you are ready to be treated by one of AmWell’s medical professionals, signing up is easy. You can start by either visiting their desktop site at amwell.com or by downloading their app on your smart phone. When you are ready to schedule your doctor’s visit, here’s how the process works.
- Fill out the prompt form and let AmWell know if you have insurance. You do not need to have an insurance provider in order to use this service.
- Once you have let AmWell know about your current insurance plan, you simply need to create an account by entering some basic contact information and to create a profile with the company.
- You will also be asked if your employer has a Service Key. There are many companies that offer free or discounted care through AmWell as part of their benefits package.
- You are then taken to a page where you can choose what type of services you are interested in; there is also an option to access the website in Spanish.
Registering through the site or through the app is simple and only takes a few minutes. Once you have registered through AmWell and chosen the area of specialty you are interested in, you can quickly make an appointment right away or schedule an appointment later on at a time that works for you.
Signing up only takes minutes and you can choose your doctor when you sign up for an appointment.
Just like any other doctor’s appointment, during your visit your doctor will talk to you about your medical history, your symptoms and perform an exam through the video platform. Your doctor may also recommend treatment, including prescription medications or lab work during your visit.
There is a set fee for doctor’s visits at AmWell. Of course, depending on your coverage, your insurance company may cover all or some of this visit. The standard rate for those without insurance is $69 per visit. The average visit is about 10 minutes long, but patients can add more time if they need to.
Usability (Desktop & Mobile):
AmWell is designed with usability in mind. Signing up takes minutes and the entire process was created to be simple and streamlined. Their app and their desktop site are both easy-to-navigate and use prompts to make sure that you are following along and getting where you need to.
Signing up is simple and when it is time to talk with a doctor, you simply need to press a button. If you can use Skype or Google Video, you can use this platform. There are, of course, customer service representatives available should you have any issues accessing the platform.
When you are done with your appointment, you will be prompted to leave a review and provide feedback on your experience. This will not only help the company make sure that their providers are offering excellent care, but it will help other future patients as well.
For users who don’t have a smart phone or computer, the company also has a direct line that will connect you with a doctor through phone, if necessary. You can call the company at 1-844-SEE-DOCS.
Doctor Support & Effectiveness:
The most important part of AmWell is the doctors behind this company. AmWell has taken the time to choose highly-qualified, experienced doctors for their platforms. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are able to prescribe prescriptions, refill prescriptions, fill out sick slips, order lab tests and more.
What do the doctors at AmWell treat?
When you sign up to make an appointment with AmWell, you will quickly see that the company has a number of different specialties. This service is not meant for emergency situations, in which case you should call 9-1-1, but does offer Urgent Care services for when you need to speak to a doctor right away.
AmWell has service providers in the following areas:
- Children’s Medical
- Psychological Therapy
- Adolescent Therapy
- Dietary and Nutritional Counseling
- Breastfeeding Support
- Family and Couple’s Counseling
- Functional Integrative Medicine
- Urgent Care
The most common issues that AmWell treats are everyday illnesses like bronchitis, cough, flu, UTIs, diarrhea, vomiting, depression and anxiety. They are able to fill prescriptions or prescribe medications and will send your prescription directly to your local pharmacy.
Confidentiality & Privacy:
Like any quality company that works with health records, AmWell is serious about patient privacy. The company is fully HIPPA compliant. The website also has a number of encryption and security measures on their website so that you can rest assured knowing that your information is safe and secure whenever you provide data through the website.
AmWell’s Doctor Qualifications:
AmWell proudly makes certain that those who utilize their site are only working with the best of the best. Their doctors are board-certified, screened and trained to ensure they are able to not only provide quality medical care, but that they are able to do so in an online environment. According to the company, all of their certified physicians have an average of 15 years of experience each. Each doctor is both single and multi-state licensed and credentialed to work in your state of residence.
Specialties and Areas of Expertise For Medical Doctors:
As the largest telemedicine company in the country, AmWell prides itself on being able to treat a number of different conditions.
- Acid Reflux and GERD
- Back pain
- Bipolar disorder
- Birth Control Options
- Carpal Tunnel
- Celiac Disease
- Cold Sores
- Chron’s Disease
- Ear Pain
- Flu and Flu-like symptoms
- Foot Pain
- Genital Herpes
- Heart Health
- Hot Flashes
- Genital Warts
- Lyme Disease
- Moles and Warts
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Neck Pain
- Pelvic Pain
- Pink Eye
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Poison Ivy and Poison Oak
- Runner’s Knee
- Restless Leg
- Scar Treatments
- Sore Throat
- Strep Throat
- Sleep Apnea
- Sinus Infection
AmWell is also clear about the conditions that they cannot treat through their platform. It is equally important that you understand which conditions you will need to see a physician in a traditional environment for.
- Chest pain
- Neurological symptoms that may indicate a stroke
- Loss of consciousness, dizziness or difficulty breathing
- Possible broken bones
- Sudden breathing
- Gagging or choking
- Severe hypertension or hemorrhoids
- Head injuries
- Possible broken bokes
- Attempted suicide
- Hallucinations or schizophrenia
- Wanting to hurt others or having homicidal tendencies
Specialties and Areas of Expertise For Counselors:
If you are interested in mental health services, AmWell also has trained mental health therapists who are licensed psychiatrists and psychologists. They are available to help in the following areas:
- Postpartum Depression
- Miscarriage Loss
- Family and Relationships
- Bipolar Disorder
- Mood Swings
- Panic Attacks
AmWell is not only the biggest telemedicine company in America right now, but one of the most highly-rated. Thanks to their dedicated staff of expertly trained doctors, patients from all over the country can quickly and easily get the care they need without having to drive to an office, wait in a waiting room and pay more than double the price to see a physician. With set rates at just $69 per visit without insurance, this telemedicine company not only provides convenient care, but affordable care as well.
Eric Silver has been helping a close family member learn to cope with depression for nearly twenty years. Over the years, he’s developed a passion for mental health awareness. Mr. Silver has researched and written extensively within the mental health area, specifically in regard to bi-polar, depression, stress, and anxiety issues.