How Do Virtual Visits Work?

December 1, 2020  |  By UnitedHealthcare

How Do Virtual Visits Work?

Consumers expect convenience with just about everything they do these days – from streaming TV shows on-the-go to ordering groceries without ever walking into a store. But many people don’t realize that seeing a doctor may be just as simple. 

Telehealth, or virtual visits is helping make access to health care more convenient. People can see and talk to a doctor through their smartphone, tablet or computer, meaning they don’t have to go to a doctor’s office or sit in a waiting room. Instead, they can visit with a doctor from the comfort of their own home.

Beyond the convenience, virtual visits may also save consumers time and money. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), a virtual visit may save consumers more than an hour of their time. These visits may cost much less than a trip to urgent care or an emergency room. 

Some examples of health issues that can be addressed with a virtual visit include:

  • Allergies
  • Bladder or urinary tract infections
  • Bronchitis
  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Migraines or headaches
  • Pink eye
  • Rash
  • Seasonal flu
  • Sinus problems
  • Sore throat
  • Stomachache

There are times when an in-person visit may be more appropriate. Virtual visits is not intended to address chronic or complicated conditions, a health issue that may need a hands-on exam, lab test or X-ray or an emergency medical need.