So you’re feeling under the weather, and you can’t get to your doctor’s office because of time constraints from your work or personal obligations.
Do you go to the ER? An urgent care center? What are your choices?
One answer that has arisen in the past couple decades is telemedicine, and Teladoc — which has offices in Lewisville — is one of the leading companies providing health care that is just a phone call away.
Writer Matt Goodwin takes a long look at Teledoc’s history, travails, and its viability as a business model in most recent issue of D CEO.
The history of telemedicine isn’t as young as you might think.
Goodwin points out examples from the Civil War in which doctors did consults via telegraph lines, and how in 1948, a physician successfully transmitted radiologic images from West Chester, Pennsylvania, to Philadelphina — roughly 24 miles.
Teladoc, which bills itself as the oldest and largest telemedicine company in the nation, launched in 2002 and targeted businesses who wanted to provide it as a health-care option to employees.
TELADOC’S CLIENTS ACCESS BOARD-CERTIFIED PHYSICIANS
TelAdoc has been led since 2009 by Jason Gorevic, a longtime health insurance executive, who has led the company to solid growth.
“I thought the time was right for telehealth and that it could make a big difference,” Gorevic told Goodwin. “I was looking at all of the big trends around healthcare reform, the shortage of primary care physicians, the cost trends in healthcare. I thought that telehealth was the right solution to a lot of these problems.”
Teladoc’s clients could access a board-certified physician for a flat fee of about $35 to $40, who had studied their medical history and was informed of what was ailing them. Teledoc has more than 3,100 board-certified physicians in all 50 states.
The company has competitors and has been met with governmental restrictions in two states — Texas and Arkansas.
But Teladoc is fighting those regulatory constraints as it continued to move forward.
Goodwin’s article goes in-depth on Teladoc’s rise and battle to be the dominant provider in telemedicine, and you can’t his full report here.
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