U.S. News & World Report showcased a new trend in telemedicine and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center hosts one of two telemedicine programs that allow patients to consult doctors via phone or video chat.
AnywhereCare, launched in 2005, connects patients to physicians for minor health issues and doctors can give guidance or even prescriptions to remedy the problem. If the doctor cannot assist the patient over video, he or she can recommend an in office visit.
Telemedicine has received mixed reviews from other doctors, but Lawrence Wechsler
, the vice president of telemedicine at UPMC, says that telemedicine is not trying to compete with traditional medical practices.
“Anytime you have new models there are going to be advantages and disadvantages,” he says. “Patients and doctors need to weigh the pros and cons to figure out what’s right for them.”