5 Innovative Organizations Helping People Access Healthcare Remotely

Thanks to advances in technology and medical science, it is now possible to access professional healthcare without having to step foot in a doctor's office. The organizations and companies listed here are among those innovating virtual health services, giving patients the ability to receive testing, treatment, prescriptions, and consultation remotely. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

5 Sources For Telehealth & Medicine

Organization What It Does
The Virtual Doctors Uses a smartphone app to connect isolated health centers in rural Zambia with volunteer doctors, based predominantly in the UK, who offer advice to diagnose conditions, treat patients, and prescribe medicine
Thriveworks Connects individuals with counselors, psychologists, and coaches who help them manage challenges like depression, anxiety, relationship issues, major life transitions, and more
Nurx Delivers prescriptions and home testing kits right to patients' doors, including birth control, STI testing, emergency contraception, HIV prep, and others
athenahealth Provides cloud-computing software and services for medical groups and healthcare systems, allowing for video conferencing and telemedicine visits
TytoCare Offers a hand-held exam kit and app for connecting with your doctor for an on-demand medical exam, diagnosis, or prescription

Using Nurx to Test for Common STIs From Home

Some Common Ailments

  • Common cold
  • Chest cold
  • Ear infection
  • Influenza
  • Sinus infection
  • Sore throat
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Allergies
  • Mono

Introducing TytoHome by TytoCare

In Depth

There are a variety of reasons many of us dread going to the doctor, including cost, time, and convenience. Fortunately, there are many companies that offer telehealth services, which make it possible to renew prescriptions, receive counseling, and diagnose common ailments via technology. Here, in no particular order, are organizations providing virtual medical care.

Starting off the list at #1 is the Virtual Doctors. This non-profit telemedicine provider uses a smartphone app to connect clinical officers at isolated health centers in rural Zambia with volunteer physicians based predominantly in the UK. They offer advice to diagnose conditions, treat patients, and prescribe medicine. Among the conditions the teams have assessed are malaria, issues related to drought, and snake bites.

Its clinic twinning initiative replicates isolated infirmaries in Zambia with facilities in the UK that feature GP surgeries, outpatient departments, or hospital wards. Virtual Doctors also provides ongoing education to the local healthcare workers. The organization has been featured in such media outlets as the BBC, Nyasa Times, CNN, and the Herald.

Its clinic twinning initiative replicates isolated infirmaries in Zambia with facilities in the UK that feature GP surgeries, outpatient departments, or hospital wards.

At #2 is Thriveworks, which provides online counseling by video and phone. The service is designed to address privacy concerns, lack of time, or cultural needs. It offers marriage and couples therapy, including tips on improving communication and specific issues such as jealousy or infidelity. Counselors that utilize Christianity in order to address such topics as faith and grief are also available.

Through its enrollment based practice, Thriveworks provides phone and email access to its therapists between sessions, exclusive video content, and same or next day appointments. Its Therapy Buddy mobile app features alert reminders, topics to address in your next meeting, the ability to record counselor interactions, and a homework assignment task list.

Entering the list at #3 is Nurx. It delivers prescriptions and home testing kits to patients' houses, including automatic refills and renewals. Patients select their medication, or get guidance from the medical team about the best treatment. After answering a few questions, an approved doctor in their state will review the request and write a prescription. Services include birth control, emergency contraception, and HIV PrEP.

After answering a few questions, an approved doctor in their state will review the request and write a prescription.

Nurx provides a library of articles about medical concerns including headaches, women's health, and sex education for adults. Its board members include Chelsea Clinton, author and vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, and Dr. Regina Benjamin, former Surgeon General of the United States. Media coverage includes Shape Magazine and VICE.

In the #4 spot is athenahealth, a provider of network enabled software and services for medical groups and health systems across the country. Its athenaTelehealth service is an embedded offering that allows healthcare providers to conduct video conferencing and telemedicine visits, as well as manage scheduling and send messages to patients.

For rural areas or locations with little to no access to ER physicians, the company provides board certified specialists through its tele-emergency services. They can read an EKG and other results in order to offer second opinions and recommendations. Screens and cameras are placed in front of the patients to allow them to interact with the remote medical consultants.

Screens and cameras are placed in front of the patients to allow them to interact with the remote medical consultants.

Finishing up the list at #5 is Tyto Care, a handheld kit and app that lets users perform guided medical exams with an on-call healthcare provider. Among the equipment are a tongue depressor adapter for the throat and a device with an exam camera and thermometer. Common ailments such as ear infections, allergies, bug bites, and rashes can be diagnosed via the system.

Designed for consumer use, the devices are available for urgent and senior care, school health, and employer onsite clinics. Tyto Care has been recognized as one of TIME magazine's Best Inventions of 2019, a Red Herring Top 100 Finalist, and the Best of CES by WIRED. Partnerships include Epic and Vidyo.