Skip The Waiting Room And Try Telemedicine

Posted at 11:05 AM, Apr 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-18 14:08:52-04

In the last few years, millions of Americans have discovered telemedicine as a way to get help with things like simple health problems and prescription refills. And now, one of America's biggest retailers has their own take on it — Dr. Nworah Ayogu, the Chief Medical Officer for Amazon Clinic, is dialing up the basics of telemedicine.

First... Let's take a look at what telemedicine is.

Basically, telemedicine allows a patient to communicate with their doctor's office through their smartphone or computer. There are some that are phone only, there are some that are video and there are some where you simply send messages back and forth to the doctor. According to the CDC, 37% of Americans used telemedicine in the past year; now Amazon is offering telemedicine through it's website. Dr. Ayogu describes it, you’ll connect with a doctor on your phone or computer, answer a couple questions, and the doctor will interact back and forth so that you can get an answer to your problem right away. A licensed clinician like a doctor or nurse practitioner will review your information and message you with any follow-up questions. Then you'll receive a personalized diagnosis and treatment plan including any necessary prescriptions.

So which health issues does telemedicine help?

Things like allergies, asthma, pinkeye, acne, sinus infections, acid reflux, gout, Covid… you can find a list of health conditions on the amazon web site. You can renew prescriptions, and even get help to quit smoking. They'll either call the pharmacy to make sure you've had that prescription before, or if you have your old prescription bottle, they'll ask you for a picture of that or some of those details.

Finally... Where do you start if you want to try Amazon's new telemedicine service?

If you have the Amazon app on your phone, you already have access, you don't need to download anything else. As Dr. Ayogu likes to say, you’ve already got that doctor in your pocket. Or hop onto the Amazon web site and click on ‘clinic.' So far, Amazon Clinic's operating in 33 states, and they’re continuing to expand. While right now it's for customers who are 18 to 65, they are looking to go wider as they go forward.

As far as the fees, you pay a flat fee for whichever health issue you get help with.

A lot of conditions are 25, 30, or 35 dollars. No matter which telemedicine service you use, Dr. Ayogu hopes it may make healthcare more affordable and accessible, and less likely to come with surprise costs.

talent: Jimmy Rhoades
adapted for web by: Dave Hanson