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House calls from the Internet?

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – Online healthcare allows you can talk to a doctor on Skype by just logging in.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – Online healthcare allows you to talk to a doctor on Skype by just logging in. It is designed for convenience, and to save money (a doctor's Virtual visit is about $45 dollars).

Home healthcare is the new frontier in telemedicine, but doctors at the University of Utah use the technology daily to assist physicians in rural Utah diagnose difficult, and sometimes life threatening conditions. Dr. Jana Wold is a University of Utah neurologist "It allows us to give emergency therapies to patients who would otherwise not be capable of receiving them."

She also treats patients at the Utah state prison using telemedicine. They are examined with the help of a nurse while online. "It’s easier to just examine them over the camera, and then they don't have to be transported to the hospital, and it allows for good follow-up because they can be seen every three months or so.”

Dr. Wold says there is no doubt web cameras are changing the capability of physicians to offer patient care in different settings, but she says there are limitations. "It is certainly limiting to not be able to feel the exam yourself and sort of pick up the intricacies of the exam."

That is likely why websites like nowclinic.com, and others making their way online, limit their care to the basics. "Things like the common cold or a sore throat or eye problems not necessarily a neurological issue."

Online treatment is considered the wave of the future, but before you surf for a doctor, experts say it’s important to check their credentials.


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