By Arif Razvi, Co-founder, Hello Alvin
Many mothers find it challenging to seek medical care for themselves or take a sick child to the doctor’s office during the school year. In fact, according to a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia survey, seven out every 10 moms spends more than two hours for each doctor visit.
One hundred percent of moms surveyed want 24-hour access to doctors and other healthcare offerings, while 80 percent want to learn more about telehealth to help deal with a non-emergency medical issue.
Telehealth provides consumers a more convenient alternative to in-person visits with direct access to quality medical care from any mobile device or computer. Healthcare-on-demand is important: 65 percent of moms said it’s more important than streaming video or food delivery, and 61 percent said health technology innovations would help their children live healthier lives.
These numbers are significant – and point to a trend toward more use of telehealth – given that 82 percent of moms surveyed are the most health-tech savvy members of the family.
When In Doubt
As the use of mobile apps continues to grow, health-related tools for women have become an important way to address the increased need for healthcare convenience. At times, moms are unable to reach their doctor’s office, a situation that will worsen with an anticipated shortage of primary care doctors, increasingly crowded Emergency Departments, and the continued rising costs of healthcare.
This is especially true for moms in rural areas where accessing care poses an even greater challenge. Because of the limited availability of doctors and specialty services, rural families receive lower quality care and have worse outcomes compared with those living in more populated areas.
Telehealth is an effective way to close this disparity. It gives overworked moms a simple way to find out if that cough might be the first tickles of the common cold or an upper respiratory infection. It’s nice to simply pick up the phone to find out if a fever, ear pain or skin abrasion may require urgent attention or a little TLC at home.
Without telehealth, some parents turn to Google or WebMD for answers. But this can lead to more questions than answers, and too often they risk encountering unreliable sources that offer potentially dangerous “remedies.”
Finding the Right Telehealth Option
As mobile technology evolves, it has become a new tool that helps moms manage, track and access health information for themselves and the family. Telehealth is helping families all across the country in terms of cost, time and access to quality, convenient care. What’s more, telehealth plans have recently become accessible and affordable for all parents — regardless of their insurance status.
Parents should look for an online healthcare service that provides access to medical care for minor illnesses through its web-based platform and a reliable telehealth physician network.
Make sure the telehealth service provides access to a variety of healthcare tools, not just live doctor consults, because not every situation or question requires a live consultation. The service should offer a free and unlimited 24/7 Registered Nurse Line and 24/7 Email-a-Doctor service, which includes pediatricians to be able to get realy nurse or doctor advice without incurring additional fees. The service should, of course, include live video or voice consults with a Board Certified doctor on any mobile device 24/7 to get answers to questions about minor ailment within minutes for a small additional fee.
Such a service can be found for as little as $100 a year for the whole family, with low consultation co-pays, and no additional fee for unlimited access to a registered nurse line and the ability to email a doctor directly.
Moms, in particular, are benefitting from the merger of technology and healthcare. They can now get better access to doctors, be more efficient with time and keep their families and themselves healthy.
Arif Razvi is the co-founder of, Hello Alvin ®, and has more than two decades of experience in leading innovative technology companies. He co-founded Hello Alvin with the mission of making healthcare more accessible and affordable for all Americans.