Top 7 Online Telehealth Doctors for College Students in 2021

Until recently, people would only visit or consult a doctor when they were sick or dying. In today’s increasingly informed and empowered society, prevention is becoming a regular part of health care. In the current generation, there is a preemptive medical approach toward healthy living. No matter what age group, health has been acknowledged as an essential factor in one’s life. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, being conscious of weight, and performing physical activities are currently supported with studies to reduce risks of various conditions or diseases.

Health awareness is also now spread among college students. Statista data from 2019 shows that 41% of college students perceive their health as very good, while only 11% of respondents stated their health was only fair or poor. And 55% in total concludes that their health and well-being should be a top priority.

Now, doctors are recommending regular check-ups to help keep patients healthy. To cut back on medical treatment and surgery rates, they emphasize medical prevention methods. Preventing health problems can be achieved by getting routine check-ups. A regular doctor can detect early signs of disease and health conditions. The best treatment can be provided quickly with early detection, avoiding complications. You can live longer and healthier by getting the proper health screenings, treatments, and services. Now the big question is, what if you’re not in the right time or right place to seek a doctor? Often, this is a concern for students, most especially college students, who have too many things on their plates all the time. 

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It’s common for college students and young adults to take their general well-being for granted. Most of the time, you wake up feeling fairly well unless you suffer from a preexisting condition. However, as you age, you experience weird changes in your body. Such changes are hardly noticeable now that you’re still in college, though. “Start them young” is your key phrase here! Being health-conscious and mindful of your health will provide you with excellent benefits in your life later on. 

Keeping up with classes, working jobs, and socializing with friends is understandably challenging for college students. As a result, it is easy to put off regular health check-ups. However, as soon as you turn 18, it would be best to consider seeing a primary care physician or adult medicine doctor. 

A person of this age requires other routine health care. Therefore, you should establish a relationship with your doctor so that he or she will know about your medical history and assist you in planning and anticipating your future health needs. But with your student obligations and routines getting in the way, there’s no better option than to make use of telehealth doctors. 

READ: Top 7 Online Mental Health Counseling College Services

What Exactly is Telehealth and How Does it Work Patients in General?

When you hear the word “telehealth,” what do you think of? Some perceive telehealth as simply talking to your doctor over the phone or using online communication apps. This is correct, but a virtual consultation should be a private and secure talk between the patient and their healthcare provider when they can be accommodated online.   

The conversation goes beyond simply verifying symptoms or having consultations. Telehealth online services provide patients with a secure platform for video consultations with registered and reliable doctors without sharing their contact details.  Depending on your online doctor appointment outcome, you may receive various outcomes, including medical certificates, referrals to specialists, or prescriptions if you need medications. In addition, registration is a one-time process, making healthcare quick, convenient, and accessible. So as a busy college student, this is undoubtedly a suitable alternative to physically seeing your physician. 

Benefits Of Connecting With Your Doctor While in College

It is also possible to provide health care to people with limited mobility or those living in rural areas without stable access to a local doctor or clinic using technology. College distance learners who live in isolated towns or far from the cities can take full advantage of the telehealth services. These reasons have led to a significant expansion of telehealth in the last ten years. The number of U.S. hospitals that use telehealth has increased from 35 percent a decade ago to 76 percent today.

During the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), telehealth is becoming even more critical. In part, this has resulted from people’s fears about catching and spreading viruses while having in-person medical visits.

According to the survey, two-thirds of Americans have become more interested in virtual care since the pandemic began. Due to the success of hospitals conducting virtual care and implementing organized telemedicine procedures, it is no doubt that the future of health care will continue implementing this approach. 

While students have begun online classes since the pandemic, it has gotten harder for them to leave their homes. Hence, telehealth is excellent support for college students who are busy studying and learning from a distance. The following are benefits of seeing an online telehealth doctor while you’re in college:

1.      Time-efficient

During college, you probably do not have much free time to spare. You constantly have examinations, quizzes, projects, meetings, and social gatherings to attend to. Add to that your part-time job, and you won’t even find some peace-and-quiet time for yourself. In addition, if your medical care involves travel, you may not feel as if you have enough time to schedule and attend an appointment in the day. Most likely, you’d have to pass or cancel your medical appointment due to lack of time or inconvenience on your end. 

Due to telehealth, the travel time to the computer is reduced to only a few seconds. Transport and related costs will not be an issue. This makes it an affordable option for college students. Taking a break from your studies and skipping classes will not be a problem because the appointment will not take as long as expected.

2.      Flexibility and convenience

Virtual treatment allows you to receive medical assistance from anywhere at any time. Doctors can be accessed via smartphone, tablet, or computer for extensive consultations, prescriptions, and even advice on specialized medical issues. As telemedicine offers real-time responses, you will not need to wait for hours in a queue. Say goodbye to long waiting hours in the clinic, wasting your time away flipping pages on some magazine as you wait for your turn.

3.      Regularized sessions

Students can enjoy regular weekly sessions with the use of telehealth. Depending on your medical condition, you can have your check-up as frequently as possible. People who suffer from mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, or OCD significantly benefit from this.  Telehealth helps ease the burden of assisting students with their mental health.

4.      Affordability

Having to balance work and studies is difficult for many students who are just trying to manage their finances. Students can benefit from telehealth because it’s more affordable than offline physical consultations.

5.      Better assessment

Specialty practitioners can provide you with telemedicine services at home, so you can see them when it’s convenient for you. Furthermore, it’s an advantage for doctors to see you when you’re home because they might discover surrounding factors or circumstances that might have led to your disease or illness. 

Allergic reactions are often caused by clues found in your surroundings, such as pollen. Your doctor can observe this when you both video call each other. In addition, it is possible to be observed by neurologists and physical and occupational therapists and assessed for your ability to maneuver and care for yourself at home. Mental health counseling and assessment are also available through telemedicine.

6.    Remote monitoring

With telemedicine, remote monitoring is possible with a variety of technologies. Among these technologies are:

  • A mobile app or web-based tool lets you upload personal information to your doctor, like blood glucose readings.
  • Devices for detecting and measuring physiological parameters, such as blood pressure or lung function.
  • The wearable device records and transmits information such as blood glucose, tremors, posture control, heart rate, and sleep patterns automatically.
  • Devices to monitor possible slips or fall in elderly or dementia patients at home.
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Best Online Telehealth Doctors for College Students

MDLive

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MDLive is your first line of defense, a telehealth service that offers video-conferencing health care 24/7 using your web browser or smartphone app. The doctors treat over 80 medical conditions at MDLive, including common colds and flu. Additionally, the service provides virtual medical visits for counseling and psychiatry. If you’re concerned about privacy matters, you don’t need to because this online telehealth is very secure.

To get started, sign up with your basic information, including insurance information, if any. When registered, you can request online for the type of treatment you need. You’ll be provided a video-conferencing schedule with an available doctor.

Aside from college students, this online telehealth’s medical care can be provided to all family members,  including children. The virtual visit does not replace your regular doctor, and you cannot select which doctor treats you over the video call.

Insurance plans are accepted, or per-visit fees may be charged. The services’ website states that medical care pricing depends on your insurance coverage and its inclusions. Psychiatry visits for problems like addiction and panic disorder cost the most, as do specialty visits.

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SteadyMD

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Your membership at SteadyMD gives you access to a Board-certified primary care physician via a subscription-based telehealth platform. Throughout the platform’s lifespan, all patients receive their care from the same doctor, regardless of their involvement with the system.

Patient access to primary care is made easier thanks to SteadyMD. Patients can schedule appointments and communicate with their doctors via text messaging using the SteadyMD platform and choose their doctor. Patients will see the same doctor throughout their sessions while on the service allows them to build a relationship similar to having a primary care physician in person. This will enable you to be more comfortable speaking with your doctor about your concerns and questions.

Regardless of where the patients have insurance coverage, SteadyMD’s fee is an extra expense. Some individuals, however, might feel that the pros outweigh the cons, such as those with chronic conditions and those who wish to consult with a physician often. If you need to see your doctor personally, it would surely cost more than online telehealth. Even though telehealth cannot wholly replace in-person care, it could be a good alternative for people who have trouble finding family doctors or need access to doctors with specific credentials.

To use SteadyMD, patients need an Android or iOS device with a video camera, speaker, and microphone. After taking the short quiz, the patient will be asked about values and concerns and what type of doctor they are looking for. This is a constructive way to assess what kind of doctor is most suitable for your medical needs.

Following the quiz, patients are presented with a list of possible doctors. Plan options will be offered, along with the prices of the service. Each service and choice of doctor means you can enjoy personalized medical care. Patients can then set up appointments with their medical providers once they are enrolled in the app. 

These appointments typically last about 60 minutes for a single patient and family but 90 minutes for Functional Health plans. As you transition from one medical session to another, you will be handled by the same doctor you have selected initially.

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K Health

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You can download and register on K Health (even if you want to see a doctor, you can but don’t need to) if you want to know more about your symptoms. The app shows you how doctors have previously treated patients with symptoms similar to yours based on data collected from millions of users. This is only for reference, though, so don’t worry because personal information and details will be secured and kept safe. Nevertheless, having this information can be helpful when you aren’t sure what to do, for instance, if you are unsure about your symptoms and condition. 

Should you choose to see a physician, K Health’s affiliated physicians can conduct proper diagnostics, prescribe medications, prescribe needed lab tests, or even refer you to an urgent care facility or specialist. Using the app is free, though chatting with a doctor will cost you a minimal fee. Depending on your insurance and the services you require, K Health prices can vary widely. This is indeed a more financially reasonable option than face-to-face medical consultations.

Based on anonymized patient records, K-Health uses artificial intelligence (AI) to get to know you and find information about your health. Patients can connect with doctors for fee-based services if K-Health recommends they meet with a physician. There’s no need for you to make visits to a doctor’s office; you can get health care wherever you are.

K-Health customizes your interaction with the system according to your demands, symptoms, and conditions based on your input. Apply the following steps and start your journey to a healthier you with K-Health:

  • Before anything else, download the app. It’s free.
  • Type in your symptoms and feelings.         
  • Answer follow-up questions regarding your symptoms. K-Health will ensure to understand your condition better through the questions. 
  • You will receive further clarification based on how detailed your answers to the questions will be.
  • Your symptoms will be matched according to suggestions by K-Health. A variety of factors will influence the recommendation, including your body mass index, gender, symptoms, and age.

The procedure is not complicated at all. Additionally, K-Health will connect you with a physician if it thinks you need immediate attention. You have the option of continuing or not. Because it uses a database of more than a billion data points in the health sector, K-Health works (and is more accurate than you searching symptoms and references on search engines by yourself), you will find physician’s notes, tests, treatments, and prescriptions here. To avoid misinformation when Googling your symptoms, this app aims to make information finding valuable and accurate.

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Health Tap

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The HealthTap website and app are virtual healthcare providers offering non-emergency medical care. Members of the service can join for free and subscribe for an annual fee which includes unlimited video and chat consultations.

An artificial intelligence interface lets you input symptoms and determines whether you need to see a doctor based on those symptoms. In addition to physicians’ answers to various health topics included in a free account, there is an extensive index of physician questions and answers.

HealthTap requires an annual subscription to gain access to medical services. Once you’ve registered, you can start messaging the doctors or requesting a video consultation. In addition, with HealthTap, you can order lab tests and have your prescriptions forwarded to any pharmacy you wish.

A medical telemedicine service says your employer may offer you HealthTap as a benefit, and the company will speak with your employer about implementing this app. If you wish, you may also subscribe to an individual monthly subscription. 

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Teladoc

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Talk to a doctor fast with Teladoc. It is a healthcare provider network of more than 3,000 doctors and medical providers and over 20 million members in the United States. You can use this telehealth app any time of the day, the entire 365 days of the year. For urgent or general medical problems, patients can use the phone or video chat feature without a time limit, and you will gain access to a doctor right within the first 10 minutes of contact. In addition, dermatology and behavioral health issues can be discussed with physicians in the service.

Teladoc doctors usually diagnose and treat upper respiratory infections, eye infections, colds, flu, allergy symptoms, and bronchitis. A virtual visit report can be requested from your primary care physician, and prescriptions can be sent electronically to your local pharmacy. You may opt for the one closest to your university if you’re living on campus.

Nonmembers will be charged a flat fee of $45 per consultation per year, but patients may join individual or family plans that cost between $29.99 and $49.99 annually. If you’re concerned about a specific illness, it would be economically wise to go for an annual plan. 

Having a membership plan doesn’t reduce the cost of consultations, which are $39 each. All physicians and healthcare providers at Teladoc have been board-certified in their specific fields. You can rest easy knowing that you’re utilizing primary medical care.

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MeMD

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A smartphone, a computer, or a landline phone can be used to access the MedicineMD telehealth service. Patients can have a video or audio consultation after setting up free accounts and providing basic medical information. This app presents a straightforward setup and registration process.

After discussing symptoms and treatment plans with the doctor, a MeMD medical professional reviews your information and begins the consultation. You can avail of this service if you suffer from minor ailments like headaches, skin infections, sprains, flu, cough, and migraines. It is possible to have your medical prescriptions sent to a local pharmacy near you.

In addition to treating minor ailments, recently, they added treatment for more mental disorders like anxiety, stress, abuse, PTSD, and depression. MeMD now offers behavioral health as well. In-person care is provided to fewer than 5% of MeMD patients, according to the website.

At MeMD, all the physicians, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants are licensed, board-certified providers of medical services. Counselors and therapists are licensed to treat behavioral disorders. If you’re experiencing depression and mental stresses related to your college life, you can have your sessions in this telehealth service.

Though MeMD does not accept health insurance, accounts such as FSAs, HSAs, and HRAs are considered. They charge a reasonable amount of  $58 per session for urgent medical care and $80 for therapy sessions by licensed therapists. In addition, you can gain your medical records through MeMD’s patient portal. This will benefit you for tracking your health progress and provide convenience and understanding for your future physicians regarding your medical condition.

The technology requirements for accessing MeMD are specific. For example, you need an internet connection that is speedy enough to load the app or software. Safari is not compatible, so you will need to use other web browsers like Firefox, Google Chrome, or Opera. 

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DoctorOnDemand

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DoctorOnDemand is an app that provides virtual medical services on a 24/7 basis and allows you to schedule appointments for mental health care or primary care. Patients must use the DoctorOnDemand app via an Internet browser (Google Chrome) or a smartphone with a webcam to access this service.

DoctorOnDemand accepts several health care plans, but you can also have an initial consultation for $229 without insurance for psychiatric care, $79 for behavioral therapy, or $75 for general consultation.

In general, doctors have a 15 minute limit on consultations but can treat urgent care needs such as back pain, fever, rashes, skin conditions, urinary tract infections, and sinusitis. You can also treat chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, allergies, asthma, thyroid, and stress management. But these will need follow-up check-ups and regular sessions with your physician to monitor progress. Your DoctorOnDemand can order tests in your area if lab work or screenings are required. Medications can also be prescribed electronically by your doctor and sent to your pharmacist.

In addition to providing medical care, this website also provides preventative care. Among the services offered are smoking cessation, weight loss, mood disorders, and metabolic syndrome screenings. Such medical issues also happen to college students. 

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References:

https://blog.ochsner.org/articles/9-reasons-why-college-students-need-a-primary-care-doctor
https://www.verywellhealth.com/best-online-doctors-4802175
https://www.onlinedoctor.com/steady-md-review/
https://www.top10.com/online-doctors/reviews/k-health
https://www.onlinedoctor.com/best-online-doctor-medical-services/
www.ravereviews.org/health/best-online-doctor/
www.onlinemedicalservices.org/best-online-doctors/