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Q: Online Doctor/Specialist Services? ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   5 Comments )
Subject: Online Doctor/Specialist Services?
Category: Health
Asked by: nhdw-ga
List Price: $7.00
Posted: 26 Nov 2002 11:50 PST
Expires: 26 Dec 2002 11:50 PST
Question ID: 114989
I would like to see if the following service exists somewhere on the
internet... A service where a physician - charging for services via
credit card over the internet (Preferrably the doctor would also
HMO/PPO typed insurance plans and would consider the session overall
as an 'office visit', but this is not a requirement) -- can attempt to
make diagnoses based upon
Symptoms review, Q&A and/or bodily samples sent through the mail ... A
"remote doctor", in a sense...

An example of what I'm looking for would be a dermatologist who
provides conversation via email about the patient's symptoms, requests
a skin sample through the mail, and could make a diagnosis based upon
his or her findings.

If you don't understand the question fully, please request
clarification before proceeding to post an answer...

Clarification of Question by nhdw-ga on 26 Nov 2002 11:58 PST
Accpetable answers would be the URLS and information about such sites,
or an absolute 'NO, the service does not exist anywhere whatsoever'
Subject: Re: Online Doctor/Specialist Services?
Answered By: tehuti-ga on 27 Nov 2002 03:32 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hello nhdw-ga,

Since you consider http:// to fit your criteria, I
list it again here. This appears to be a genuine medical practice,
with premises in London where face-to-face consultations can be booked
if desired.  Otherwise, the Internet service has a worldwide remit:
“We can give medical advice, organise referrals and prescriptions for
people in the UK or abroad.”

There are a number of services where it is possible to obtain medical
advice and information for a fee.  Some of these are listed here:
Most do not go beyond answering questions. Some provide prescriptions,
but usually only for selected drugs, for example Viagra, weight-loss
medication. does provide prescriptions online, but
has conditions attached: “All patients receiving an online doctor
consult will be required to follow up with a physician within a
specified time period in order to confirm the rendered medical
diagnosis, and to assure that the condition is responding
appropriately to treatment.” provides a “virtual housecall” service
which can include provision of a prescription. Again, follow up with a
physician in person is a requirement for using the service.
Telemedicine is not currently accepting new patients. is listed as providing prescriptions and
referrals, however I could not find any mention of prescriptions on
the site itself. There is a section inviting companies to register
their employees with this service, which mentions that referrals to
other specialists can be provided.

You might also be interested in this short article from Mediclicks
(sponsored by Astra-Zeneca) about some of the issues that arise with
respect to providing medical second opinions online, and which
undoubtedly are valid also for other types of online medical services

And here is the web site of RelayHealth, a company which provides a
structure for physicians wanting to enable Internet services for their

Search strategy: I was already familiar with the service.
A search on Google for: “online medical consultation” provides about
4000 hits, but mostly to sites selling diet pills, Viagra, etc
The dmoz listing cited above came up fairly high in the results and
provided the leads to most of the services mentioned in this answer.
I did trawl through quite a few pages of Google search results, but
did not see any obvious candidates apart from the ones listed so far.
Adding the search term “referral” to the above reduces the results to
59, but this did not supply any further leads.
nhdw-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Almost exactly the type of thing I was looking for... Excellent
answers, with extra info! Thanks.

Subject: Re: Online Doctor/Specialist Services?
From: kevinmd-ga on 26 Nov 2002 12:14 PST
Hello nhdw,
I'm a currently a practicing internal medicine physician, and there is
just too much liability risk for a doctor to do "remote" medicine.  If
anyone can find a site like this, I would be interested in the answer
as well.

For now, there are some good online sources:
1) If you know any licensed health professional, you can obtain access
to Merck Medicus (
and DXplain where you can type in the symptoms and then have a
computer generated differential diagnosis.

2) For a fee ($9.95/year), you can try the online diagnosis feature at
the National Medical Society

Kevin, M.D.
Subject: Re: Online Doctor/Specialist Services?
From: kevinmd-ga on 26 Nov 2002 12:25 PST
Hello again,
If a Researcher cannot find a site to your liking, I would be happy to
give my  opinion on any medically-related question you have via Google

Kevin, M.D.
Subject: Re: Online Doctor/Specialist Services?
From: tehuti-ga on 26 Nov 2002 16:25 PST
You have not mentioned whether there is any geographical limitation to
your query, so I do not know if you would accept a UK service as an
answer.  Here ia on which does some of what you are asking for   I can post this as an answer to
close the question, if the information is acceptable to you.
Subject: Re: Online Doctor/Specialist Services?
From: nhdw-ga on 26 Nov 2002 19:30 PST

No geographical limitations... This is pretty much what I'm looking

Do you know of any other similar services, for comparison purposes??
(It doesn't matter where in the world they are located, as long as
they don't mind dealing with US-based patients remotely)... If you
know of any other similar URLs, please post them in the answer as

Yes, this is acceptable as an answer...

Subject: Re: Online Doctor/Specialist Services?
From: nhdw-ga on 26 Nov 2002 19:37 PST

The URLs you posted are an excellent reference, and I appreciate the
information, however I am looking for a bit more personal of a
Dr.-to-Patient arrangement...

Thank you for the information! 

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