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Q: Internet Portal Sites for online health consulting ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Internet Portal Sites for online health consulting
Category: Health
Asked by: jung10-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 16 Oct 2003 04:55 PDT
Expires: 15 Nov 2003 03:55 PST
Question ID: 266833
Dear researcher,
I would like to know, what kind of Portal sites do exist for onine
health consulting.
I need the URL [internet adress], the month and year they were
founded, the number of members / users they have, if they are free or
if they charge fees and a short description of their offering
including the following classifications of features:
1.) Chatroom for private persons without any payments
2.) online live consulting / chatroom with a certain doctor or medical
3.) ask a medical question and get answers by multiple doctors or
medical specialist with payment / without payment
4.) ask a medical questions and get answers by doctors or private
persons with
payment for good solutions
5.) online libraries for contact information of doctors or medical
and their special healing methods
6.) online libraries for illnesses and healing methods

Please do not hesitate to ask me if you have further questions. 

For 50.- USD I would like tio ask you to provide me a detailed and
structured small study. Thank you


Request for Question Clarification by omniscientbeing-ga on 16 Oct 2003 08:35 PDT
Would you like dental sites included in this list or only strictly medical?

Google Answers Researcher

Clarification of Question by jung10-ga on 16 Oct 2003 10:44 PDT
I would like to have dental sides included. Thank you

Subject: Re: Internet Portal Sites for online health consulting
Answered By: leader-ga on 18 Oct 2003 17:44 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Jung10-ga:

It was a pleasure to answer your question. I did an extensive research
on your question. For your review, I am providing a small study of my
research on the topic. At the end of the study, you will also find a
list of some major websites for online medical consulting. Since, this
is a new trend on the internet, it must be noticed that the number of
websites that provide these consultations online, are limited.

Also, as is the case with other internet websites, the information
about members is mostly kept confidential. Very few, if any website
reveals its total number of members. I tried to acquire as much
information on this issue as possible but I appologize that this
cannot be done without directly contacting the website administrator.
Even in that case it might be very difficult to get the figures on
membership. From my experience on the web, I have found that only few
websites reveals these figures and that is if they have a large member

Anyway, I hope that you will find my research appropriate to your
cause. I will take this as an oppertunity to remind you that we are
always here to help you. If you are not satisfied, please clarify and
I will work with you.

Here is the study and the major internet websites:

Online health consulting is a very new trend in the healthcare
industry. Traditionally, people have consulted doctors in their
offices. With the emergence of the web, most of the major online
health consulting portals that we see today started probably around
1998-99. Due to the fact that web has yet to develop, most consumers
are reluctant to try these services online.

Online health consulting is a  new phenomenon therefore the choice of
web sites is  limited. Most of the major web sites are operated either
in United States,Canada or United Kingdom because of web security laws
and an effective healthcare system. There seem to be less than hundred
web sites on the internet that cater to online healthcare consulting.

The major healthcare web sites that provide consulting services either
do so by e-mail, chat or by phone. The most common service is provided
by e-mail. Few web sites provide free consulting by e-mail because it
is not only an inexpensive medium but also there are no time
constraints. Most of the services charge a certain fee for their
service. Other popular medium are live chat based consultation and
consultation by phone. Normally, live chat service cost more than the
e-mail but far less than a phone service. Apart from online
consultation by the three popular media, other means of information
include live forums and chat sessions where members can ask an expert
for the advice. Most of the web sites provide free access to their
online database of healthcare links and the e-library of medical
resources. If the database is extensive, such web sites might only
allow the members to access it.

Although, the fee varies from web site to web site but most American
and English web site charge a fee of $5-$15 for an email service. The
fee depends on normal service that is normally five days and the
expedited service which usually get a response within two days. Live
chat is generally more expansive with rates from $15 to $30 per hour.
The most expansive is the phone consultation for which it may cost
anywhere from $30 to $100 for half an hour.
		The fee structure in the industry is not in any way uniform. There
are doctor and physician consultation that may cost a huge amount of
money depending upon the level of service. Detailed reports on second
opinion on cancer ailments and such disease may cost an upward of $500
and could be over thousand dollars. The advantage of this fee
structure is that it costs far less than a typical visit to a local
doctor. On the other hand such services can also be used to get a
second opinion from as experienced doctor as one next door.
	A few web sites may offer a membership fee structure where consumers
can either get an unlimited access to consultation for a certain
period or is only allowed to access the advanced features of the web
site that include question and answer sessions on a live forum and web
chat with moderators.

The services of these online healthcare portals can be divided into
four categories:
1. Well-established web sites dedicated to online health consulting
2. Established web sites those providing online consulting as a part
of their services.
3. Private web sites.
4. Less established web sites.

Well Established Web sites:
These web sites normally dedicate themselves to the online healthcare
consulting business. They not only provide extensive database of
healthcare links but pride themselves on serving by a variety of media
that may include live chat, web sessions and multimedia. These web
sites also allow a consumer to see the credentials of their experts.
Most of these web sites guarantees a response within a certain period.
They also try to give as much company information to the consumer as
possible so that they can authenticate their credibility.

Established Web sites:
A few of the medical healthcare programs offer online medical service
as a part of their business. Although, they might not have extensive
consultation services as phone and multimedia but they provide
consumers with e-mail based or live chat services. These web site
drive their credibility by either having an affiliation with its
parent healthcare company or by a reputable organization. Most of
these web sites allow a customer to verify the physician bio data by
posting it on the web.

Private Web sites:
There are a few private doctors who let themselves be available for
online consultations by charging a fee. The advantage of these private
web sites is that a customer may verify a doctors credibility by
independent sources  and consult with them on one to one basis. The
fee depends on individual doctor and the level of service that they
are willing to provide.

Less Established Web sites:
These are the web sites that may or may not provide a very
professional image. Consumers are very reluctant to consult on these
portals. The main reason being the lack of information and the
scarcity of information on physicians, which more often is not
provided. A typical customer is unwilling to trust the credibility of
these web sites and pay the consultation fee, even if the web site is
authentic and provides an honest service.

The consultants on the major healthcare portal web sites are experts
in their categories. Most of the web sites will provide a brief
overview of the bio and credentials of the physicians. Consumers can
easily verify the claims of a particular web site by some independent
research. Moreover it also provide a chance to a consumer to seek the
professional advice of these consultants in the future if they like
their opinion.

The quality of reports is generally comparable to any other doctors
advice on the healthcare market. It is true that the reports cannot be
very extensive but again the consumers most often don't pay a hefty
amount and most of these major  web site consider themselves as
providers of second opinion and is not an alternate to an expert
advice who has been consulting the patient for a while. They caution
that in serious cases a visit to doctor or a physician is essential.

Most of the major web site provide an extensive list of healthcare
links for the patient. Some of them have e-libraries where a patient
may check for the basic disease information and the precautions.
Although, this information is readily available on the net and is very
easy to access.

Online medical consulting is a new trend. Its future seems to be
bright with the development in the web technology. There is a great
chance that private practitioners might use this service as an
additional income source. At this point in time, web sites are trying
to improve on the available resources but patients should double check
the feasibility of using such online health portal as security and
privacy remains an issue.


Web Health Care Center

Membership & Other Info: Anyone can access the features of this
website by
registering with the MSN Services. 
Summary: This is a free webite for online consultation. It is run by
an Indian
Company. The main features of this website is online consultation with
healthcare professionals on a live basis. Ceratian healthcare
professionals are
available online between 16:00 & 18:00 hrs.IST (10:30-12:30 hrs GMT)
Another great feature is email consultation with the healthcare
Apart from providing these services, anyone can attach a file of their
and scans for an opinion. Other great features include An Appointment
Scheduler for doctors to enable their patients to request appointments
online, Thousands of MCQs, Online Tests, Exam Info, Study Material etc
for medical students preparing for P.G.Exams,A unique web tool offered
free for Doctors and Hospitals to facilitate online practice and much
more. They also offer various links to useful articles from every
aspect of medical areas.

E-DOC America

Membership & Other Info: eDocAmerica is a service offered as a health
to over 150,000 Americans working for over 400 employers across the
Summary: This is a program for the employees of nearly 400 companies.
In order
to use this service, companies must register first. eDocAmerica's
mission is to improve health by providing direct, on line access to
medical services, making it much more convenient to get the
information that consumers need. Services they provide include medical
information and provision of educational material about a consumer or
family member's medical condition. Responses are authoritative, and
are made within 24 hours from the time of the request.

On-Line Ambulance

Membership & Other Info: Not available
Summary: The online-ambulance is a very useful website for online
consultation. Patients pay for online consultation. There is a
consultation where a detailed answer is available in 5 days than there
is sprintconsultation where a question is answered in 2 days. Online
Ambulance alsooffers live consultation with the doctor which costs
$35. Other than these
services there is a free online forum for members. There is free
literature on
various medical tests for everyone to view. They also have a short
question and answers area accessible to everyone.

The Homeopathy Information Cell

Membership & Other Info: This organization was founded in Bombay in
1986 by Dr.
Rajesh Shah.'Homoeopathy Times' , a professional journal published by
the FHR is now enjoying the readership in over 30 countries.
Summary: This is a very comprehensive web site for issues on
homeopathy treatment by FHR. The main feature of this web site is
online consultation from Dr, Rajesh Shah, prices of which differ
region to region. A free short medical analysis is available for free.
In this case anyone can e-mail Dr. Rajesh on the medical condition and
expect to get an answer in three to five days. The response will only
include the possible treatments. For an extensive online treatment,
consumer pay, as described. Other nice features include homeopathic
information on a variety of subjects and information on courses
offered by Dr. Rajesh all over the world.

Easy Diagnosis

Membership & Other Info: It is a service provided by MatheMEDics. For
information on the parent company please visit
Summary: This is a subscription based online database of health
related problems.
It is not an online consulting service but consumers can access the
information on their problems after subscribing. If they feel to get
detailed information, they are provided links to more detailed studies
on the

Find Cancer Experts

Membership & Other Info: Not available
Summary: The web site offers cancer patients a second opinion on their
by prominent experts in this field. It is a free service where a
patient can
expect a short second opinion on its ailment. It has also other basic
information about cancer.

Doctor Back Home

Membership & Other Info: Not available
Summary: This is a Britain based free consultation web site. It offers
free advice through e-mail for basic medical conditions and questions.
The answer is usually provided within 48 hours, unless it is very
busy. Phone service is discontinued.

Surgery Concerns

Membership & Other Info: Not available
Summary: It is a comprehensive web site for all types of medical
Don't be fooled by its name 'Surgery Concerns', the experts here can
answer any
type of question. There is a basic membership fee. After that you may
have an
e-mail consultation on your medical concern or a phone consultation.
There are
also forums, live chat and rich multimedia available to members. It
also provides useful links to medical web sites and literature.

MD Expert

Membership & Other Info: Not available
Summary: It is  a service for cancer patients who want a second
opinion on their
case. Their case is reviewed by expert medical doctors who consult the
physician of the patient and get their medical history. After
reviewing the medical history, they evaluate the possible scenarios
and provide a detailed feedback. This service can be very expensive
but the patient gets a quick feedback, usually within 1-2 weeks.

Ocean of Hope

Membership & Other Info: Not available
Summary: This is a free web site that offers information on dealing
with stress.
Anyone may ask other relevant medical question through e-mail to a
couple of
experts. It is a very useful web site for finding information on great
directories and other hundreds and hundreds of good links. It also has
a free
forum as well as a chat service. 

My Physicians

Membership & Other Info: Not Available
Summary: It is a very effective online health portal where consumer
ask medical
questions to healthcare experts for a fee. The answering service is
quick and
efficient. This web site has been featured in many healthcare news
sources. It
also has a free medical forum for members. Membership is free of cost.

eMedical Books Orthopedic consulting Service

Membership & Other Info: Not available
Summary: This web site has a sub-category where consumers can consult
orthopedic for a fee. the answer is usually returned within 2 to five
depending on the service. Although, no specific information is
provided on
experts and relevant concerns.


Membership & Other Info: Not available
Summary: This is a web site where consumers can ask a doctor or a
nurse for
their advice. These sections are temporarily closed but it has a
medical library and other links for basic medical information.


Membership & Other Info: Not available
Summary: This is a member based web site where consumers can consult
with a
physician/nurse team using “chat” technology, Access to our vast
Information Library, which contains detailed multimedia files with
on more than 700 of the most common ailments and conditions and
in a live e-forum where experts present a topic and than answer
questions on
the topic. Currently, membership information is only available by
emailing the
web site coordinator.

Help Horizons

Membership & Other Info: The company was founded in 1999 and is
in Boston. 
Summary: This web site not only offers the largest mental health
database online but also help consumer consult medical professionals
by chat, e-mail or discussion boards. It has a fee based service for 
consultation while its chat forum, discussion boards and video
seminars are free of cost. It lists bio;s of its consultants and is
one of
the most professional online healthcare web sites.

The Analyst

Membership: N/A
Summary: It is one of the rarest and most innovative medical
tools available on the net. It is a computer based tool that charges a
for counseling. The counseling is done by an associate doctor and the
computer itself.

Ask The Doctor

Membership & Other Info: Not available
Summary: This is an online consulting web site of  Dr. Gary Krammer
based in Los Angeles. Consumers can get a membership and get unlimited
consulting for three months or they may pay a fee for online
consulting by email, live chat or by telephone (toll free number).

Consult Doctors

Membership & Other Info: Not available
Summary: This is a useful web site for online medical consultations.
Consumers can get a feedback for healthcare experts within days via
e-mail. Although, physician details are
not provided.


Membership & Other Info: The web site was founded in October 1999 by
Dr. Elizabeth Miller.
Summary: It is the leading UK online medical service . A team of
doctors provide consumers with a fast and reliable service that
answers their medical questions. Online consultation is done by
submitting a form describing the problem, which than is reviewed by
one of three doctors. This is a fee based service.

NHS Direct

Membership & Other Info: N/A
Summary: This is an email web consulting service provided by NHS
England. Consumers get their feedback usually within five days. It is
a fee based service. The NHS web site also contains a very
comprehensive directory of health resources. Its database helps a
patient to get initial information on the treatment of a certain


Helpful Search Criteria:

'healthcare consulting websites'
'healthcare links'
'medical links'

I hope this helps. Please clarify, if you are not satisfied. Thanks
for using Google Answers and good luck.


Request for Answer Clarification by jung10-ga on 22 Oct 2003 14:02 PDT
Thank you, you really helped me with your study.


Clarification of Answer by leader-ga on 22 Oct 2003 14:42 PDT
Thanks for the rating. I am pleased that it helped. 

jung10-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

There are no comments at this time.

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