With the flu epidemic sweeping the country, some people are turning to telemedicine, which is when they log in and talk to a doctor from home, instead of actually visiting a doctor's office or ER.
So how does it work?
If you have the flu and you are feeling awful, the last thing you probably want to do is get out of bed, get dressed, fight traffic and then sit in a waiting room to see a doctor.
Telemedicine is now allowing sick people to skip all that and just see a doctor.
Dr. David Filsoof grew up in Marietta and went to school at Emory, and is now a doctor in Beverly Hills.
"Virtually anything can be taken care of that is fairly simply, like sinus infections, pneumonia, asthma, refills on prescriptions," says Dr. Filsoof.
He treats patients across the county via "teladoc."
"Minutes ago, I did a telemedicine consult, and the family was so grateful because they had no way of getting to the doctor's office," says Dr. Filsoof.
Right now, the majority of calls are about the flu. According to the CDC, if someone with the flu coughs, sneezes, or even just talks, they can spread the virus up to six feet. So doctors recommend people with the flu stay home, making telemedicine a perfect option for most flu patients.
"You really need to get tested if after 2-3 days, your symptoms are not improved while being on treatment," says Dr. Filsoof.
And there are other times when it's best to see your doctor in person.
"There are those things where you need a physical exam, and you need a further evaluation, so if someone has a fracture or a broken bone, for example, that needs to be sent to the emergency room," says Dr. Filsoof.
Telemedicine in expanding in Georgia. It may be an especially great option for people who live in rural areas, where access to healthcare can be limited.
It's covered by many insurance companies, and for people are who aren't insured, this virtual doctor's visit costs $40.
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