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Can Your Webcam Cure You?

While Google is no doctor, it's becoming one of the best ways to get in touch with one. For minor health concerns, the Internet (and your webcam) is a great way to contact MDs and nurse practitioners at a moment's notice. While serious emergencies should be taken to the ER and self-diagnosing should be done with caution, these five websites can help answer your health questions and put you in touch with a doc 24/7 — no paper gown necessary.

  • MeMD: If you're suffering minor ailments such as allergies or cold symptoms, MeMD is a convenient solution to lines at urgent care. For $45, you can get a consultation from a nurse practitioner or doctor over your webcam. The wait time is around 40 minutes, and they can submit an e-prescription to your local pharmacy.
  • Online Care Anywhere: Part of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, this site will connect you to a doctor via webcam or phone for $45. While doctors can be reached on weekends and holidays, they aren't available in all states.
  • HealthTap: A great mobile option, HealthTap is very compatible with tablets and mobile devices. It's free to browse and post a question anonymously, but for a more in-depth response, you can choose to pay a small fee of $10. It's good option for advice and healthy tips, but not as helpful if you're looking to be directly treated.
  • Pearl.com: This site can connect you to professionals in all sorts of fields (like law and auto mechanics), and it's a great site for medical advice. Pricing works on a sliding scale depending on your question's depth and response time, but expect it to be around $35. Responses are thorough, and you can go back for unlimited follow-up.
  • WebMD: While it won't give you direct access to a doctor, it's filled with helpful medical and healthcare advice. It's a good place to search if you have a health question or curiosity. While it will get you thinking, it is good to remember to only rely on a doctor for a true diagnosis.
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