6 Credible Telehealth Services for Online Medical Consultation

Published: May 7, 2020 | Updated: May 26, 2020 | Posted by: Ricky Publico | Lifestyle


Online Medical Consultation in the Philippines | Moneymax

There was a time not too long ago when seeking medical advice online was discouraged. It doesn’t help that false medical information continues to spread on social media to this day. But now that the COVID-19 pandemic forced everyone to stay indoors, getting a good online medical consultation has never been more important. Enter telehealth services.

The introduction of telehealth services in the Philippines proved beneficial to Filipinos. Just like digital banks, these types of online medical consultation platforms are exactly what the public needs to get past COVID-19. Even the Department of Health has started boosting their telehealth efforts in an attempt to provide medical care to more Filipinos[1].

“DOH is maximizing the use of technology to connect the public with medical professionals, allowing them to secure medical advice without leaving their homes,” DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said regarding their telehealth efforts. Choosing the right telehealth service will help you start living “the new normal” as healthy as possible. Read on to learn more about it.

What is Telehealth?

Online Medical Consultation - What is telehealth?

The American Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)[2] defines Telehealth as “the use of electronic information and telecommunication technologies to support and promote long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration.” Basically, telehealth involves contactless consultation.

Telehealth services in the Philippines make good use of technologies like the internet, landline connections, mobile apps, video conferencing, ride-hailing services, and others to address medical concerns with minimal to no physical contact. In short, telehealth allows you to seek online medical consultation and request immediate care without leaving your home.

Read more: If I Get COVID-19, How Much Do I Need to Pay?

Telehealth vs. Telemedicine

The Federation of State Medical Boards in America[3] defines telemedicine as “the practice of medicine using electronic communication, information technology, or other means between a physician in one location, and a patient in another location, with or without an intervening health care provider.” This is why telehealth and telemedicine are two interchangeable terms.

While the two terms basically mean the same thing, there is still a distinction between them. Telehealth is a broad collection of telecommunication technologies while telemedicine is just a subset of telehealth. To make it even shorter: all telemedicine is telehealth, but not all telehealth is telemedicine. Nevertheless, the general public shouldn’t worry too much about this.

Telehealth Benefits and Advantages

  • Convenience. Seek medical advice anytime, anywhere with only a few clicks. Online medical consultation services can help you find the right doctor when you need it the most.
  • Better Access. Now you can get medical care even if you live in far-flung places. Telehealth also gives better medical access to persons with disabilities, bedridden individuals, and other patients that may require special and urgent care.
  • Inexpensive. Because it’s all online, consultation fees are rather cheaper compared to traditional checkups. Some companies even offer free online consultations.
  • Less Anxiety. No need to feel the dreaded anxiety of entering a hospital or clinic just for a consultation. Having less anxiety when talking about your medical concern can help your doctor diagnose you better.
  • Better Rapport. Doctors can develop better relationships with their patients because of the number of convenient ways patients can communicate with their doctors.
  • Reduce Costs. Patients spend less when they set up consultations online while health institutions save money on their overheads, thanks to the convenience of online medical consultation platforms.

Read more: Does Health Insurance Cover COVID-19? What Filipinos Need to Know

Telehealth Services for Online Medical Consultation

Medifi

Online Medical Consultation - Medifi app

Consultation Hours: 24/7
Consultation Fee: PHP 699

Medifi started operations in 2015 as a way to ease the “overburdened” healthcare system in the Philippines. As one of the few telehealth services operating 24/7, Medifi promises to connect you with a doctor online wherever you are. Through their official Medifi app, patients can either connect with an online doctor randomly or search for a specialist of their choice.

How to Use the Medifi Consult Now Feature

  1. Download the Medifi app[4] and create an account.
  2. From the Medifi homepage, tap Consult Now.
  3. Type your medical concern on the text box provided.
  4. Pay the fixed consultation fee of PHP 699.
  5. After paying, an online doctor will now address your medical concern.

How to Use the Medifi Find Your Doctor Feature

  1. From the Medifi homepage, tap Find Your Doctor.
  2. A list of online doctors will then appear, along with their respective consultation fees.
  3. Choose the doctor you want by tapping their name.
  4. Tap Talk to Doctor and type your medical concern on the space provided.
  5. Pay the consultation fee of the doctor and wait for your consultation.

Read more: 9 Online Drugstores in the Philippines for Medicine Delivery and Pickup

KonsultaMD

Online Medical Consultation - KonsultaMD

Consultation Hours: 24/7
Consultation Hotline: 79880 (toll-free for Globe/TM customers); (02) 7798-8000

KonsultaMD is a 24/7 hotline service that provides medical assistance over the phone. Patients can sign up for weekly or monthly subscriptions and they can also get a group plan of up to four members. KonsultaMD partnered with established health institutions, including AC Health, Generika Drugstore, FamilyDOC, QualiMed, and Hi-Precision Diagnostics, among others.

As a Globe subsidiary, KonsultaMD works best with Globe prepaid or postpaid plans, but non-Globe users can still subscribe by paying via credit or debit card. Just dial 79880 on your phone or (02) 7798-8000 for landline. Globe and TM customers won’t be charged with additional call charges, while non-Globe customers will be charged PHP 1 per minute.

How to Subscribe to KonsultaMD

  • Website. Visit the KonsultaMD website[5] and choose a plan.
  • Hotline. Call the KonsultaMD hotlines and follow the instructions.
  • Mobile app. Download the KonsultaMD app, sign up with your mobile number or Google/Facebook account, and follow the instructions. The app is available in the Google Play Store.
  • Store. Visit your nearest Globe Store and apply from there, post-lockdown.

KonsultaMD Subscription Plans

  • Globe Postpaid: PHP 150 monthly group plan
  • Globe Prepaid: PHP 15 weekly or PHP 60 monthly individual plan
  • Other Networks: PHP 150 (group plan) or PHP 60 (individual plan) monthly for 1 year

Read more: Globe vs Smart: Which is the Better Mobile Network?

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HealthNow

Online Medical Consultation - HealthNow

Consultation Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Daily
Consultation Fee: Free

HealthNow sets itself apart from the others by offering online medical consultation via video conference. Patients can interact with their doctors through Hangouts Meet, one of the most common smartphone apps for video chatting. And in the spirit of bayanihan, HealthNow waived their fees for now to help patients nationwide.

Note that while the service is free, each consultation will only last 15 minutes. This is to accommodate more patients on any given day. Maximize your consultation call by listing down the symptoms you’re having and tracking your vital signs beforehand. Also, it’s best to prepare your medical history and other important facts your doctor needs to know.

How to Use the HealthNow App

  1. Visit the HealthNow website[6] on your desktop or smartphone.
  2. Fill up the form provided at the website’s homepage.
  3. Tick the I Agree box at the end of the form before clicking Submit.
  4. HealthNow will send you a text message to confirm your appointment. Reply with a YES to proceed.
  5. HealthNow will then send you a Hangouts link to your online medical consultation.

Read more: 7 Questions to Re-Think Your Budget Strategy During COVID-19

AIDE

Online Medical Consultation - AIDE app

Consultation Hours: 24/7
Consultation Fee: PHP 500

While AIDE is widely known as a home health care platform, they recently launched a new online medical consultation feature on their app with an introductory fee of PHP 500. With this, AIDE now has one of the most robust online telehealth services out there. Their services include laboratory testing, physical therapy, vaccination, and nursing care, among many others.

How to Use the AIDE App

  1. Download the AIDE app[7] and create an account.
  2. From the AIDE homepage, tap the Chat icon on the lower right side.
  3. Tap the doctor of your choice and tap Request for Consult.
  4. Pay the consultation fee through GCash or credit card.
  5. You can then chat with your doctor and explain your medical concern.

DOCPH

Online Medical Consultation - docph.org

Consultation Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Daily
Consultation Fee: Free

In an effort to help combat COVID-19 remotely, the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) launched their very own online medical consultation platform. The best part? It’s all free and it’s all on Facebook Messenger. At least 100 doctors volunteered to be part of DOCPH. According to the PMA, they are planning to make it a round-the-clock service moving forward.

To get an online medical consultation from DOCPH, just visit their website[8] and click the consultation button. This will lead you to their Facebook messenger profile. From there, you just need to answer at least 12 questions related to your medical history prior to your consultation.

DOH COVID-19 Hotlines

Consultation Hours: 24/7
Consultation Hotline: 1555 for mobile (toll-free for Smart/TNT subscribers); 02-894-26843

The Department of Health has also launched their telehealth hotlines in March to help combat COVID-19. In partnership with PLDT and the Department of Interior and Local Government, everyone with a phone can now call the DOH directly for their COVID-19 concerns. Smart and PLDT customers can call the hotlines toll-free, making it a good alternative for KonsultaMD.

Final Thoughts

Innovation will always spring out of necessity. Thanks to online medical consultation platforms, patients can now consult medical professionals with relative ease. And in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Filipinos now have these platforms at their disposal to help prevent and combat the dreaded virus. By staying indoors and online, we can end COVID-19.

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