A service launching in January will make doctors available anytime with a few strokes of the computer keyboard. The technology, from American Well, a Boston-based company, offers physician consultations via the Internet.
You go online—or phone into a system—and specify the type of doctor you want. You’ll then select one from a list of available physicians in a specialty who are members of your health plan and begin the consultation. Members have a copayment; nonmembers pay $35 to $45 for 10 minutes.
American Well provides the service through health insurers, but it can be made available to the general public at the insurer’s discretion. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Hawaii now offers the service, and more insurers are expected to provide it this year.
Michelle Diament is a freelance writer based in Memphis, Tenn.