However, some companies, such as Teledoc, have struggled under the massive influx of customers. Recently, Bob Bracy tried out Teladoc to refill his prescriptions remotely. While he found his visit with the physician pleasant and reassuring, the administrative side was “a nightmare.” He was on hold for hours, his information was inputted incorrectly, and not all of his prescriptions were refilled.
“One thing I can say with absolute certainty is that, under the current pandemic, they’re overwhelmed,” Bracy tells Supermaker. “They’re just simply way in over their heads right now.” Teladoc did not respond to an interview request.
Despite the messy encounter, Bracy agrees with other telemedicine users that virtual visits can be more convenient than driving to a clinic—depending upon the service, of course. Currently, telemedicine services typically include primary care, mental health, nutrition, dermatology, and sexual health. But as Gabriela Barkho recently learned, not every doctor’s appointment can be done online.
“All of my appointments would end with, ‘We just have to wait and you'll need to come in when we're open so I can assess it in person,’” Barkho says, explaining how she had to hold the computer up to her nose during a follow-up after her nose surgery.
With possibly no end in sight for social distancing, this poses the question of what will happen to people who are currently in limbo awaiting a diagnosis or in-person care. Even so, Barkho mentions that some of her past telemedicine appointments have still been successful. “Instead of paying to go in and get your antibiotics, the doctor will call you, ask what's wrong, and you’re diagnosed. I've done that. And that's actually great because it saves a lot of time and money.”