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.