‘Telemedicine’ allows a doctor’s appointment without leaving home

APEX, N.C. (WNCN) – While many doctors don’t take snow days, it can be difficult for families to make it to a physician’s office when the roads are icy.

One North Carolina company is using telemedicine to treat patients from the comfort of their own homes.

Holly and Robert Ross are snowed in again with their three kids. On this snow day the Apex family is healthy, but when it snowed the first week of January it was a different story.

“We were kind of at a loss,” said Robert Ross. “We have three kids and didn’t want to go out in the weather and we were all sick.”

Robert had heard of a service called RelyMD, where patients could video chat with a doctor, get diagnosed and even prescribed medication.

“We had a less than a 10 minute wait to see a doctor and then the actual appointment was probably 15 to 20 minutes and it was so awesome because we were done in less than an hour and we still were in our pajamas,” said Holly Ross.

North Carolina emergency medicine physician Dr. Bobby Park launched the service three years ago.

Now, he sees patients virtually every day.

“It is really convenient especially when you have bad weather, you can’t get to the physician’s office cause they’re closed,” said Park.

Patients can log on online or download an app to their smart phone.

CBS North Carolina tried it and in less than 10 minutes we were speaking with a doctor.

“It’s easy to call it just Facetime, that is kind of what it is except it’s very secure and HIPA compliant and we’re able to ask a bunch of questions,” said Park. “We can even do a focused physical exam because of the video component.”

One of the things a lot of people wonder about telemedicine is how can a doctor examine a patient through a video chat. Dr. Bobby Park says he’s able to give patients instructions through the video.

Robert says a RelyMD doctor diagnosed him with the flu and even called him in two prescriptions. His wife Holly posted about RelyMD on Facebook after several other parents had posted asking if any urgent care offices were open.

“I was listening to the governor talking on the radio today begging people not to go out on the roads and I’m thinking there are plenty of people that would be sick and think they have to go, they don’t have a choice,” Holly said.

It costs $50 to see a doctor on RelyMD and anyone in North Carolina can use the service.



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