What is online care or an e-visit?

Stanley C. Newhall, MD
General Practice
Online care is just like an office visit but without being physically in the same space.  In some instances, online care is conducted solely by phone.  In other instances, it is conducted via video link, either at a patient-friendly medical kiosk or from within a clinic or hospital.  The essential feature is that the doctor and the patient are communicating about the patient's concerns,  just as in any visit to a doctor in a physical location.
Steven V. Gurland, MD
Internal Medicine
Online care is the the modern way for a patient to communicate with their physician utilizing technology. It is used for advise and the treatment of non-urgent medical conditions that do not require a physical exam.
Haya Rubin, MD
Haya Rubin, MD on behalf of MDLIVE
Internal Medicine
Online care or an e-visit is a way of obtaining medical care for problems which do not require a physical examination and which do not require treatment beyond a prescription available online or diagnostic tests beyond blood tests. It is best if you are able to give the treating doctor online a complete medical history such as is possible with a service such as MDLiveCare (disclosure: I work for MDLiveCare as a consulting physician at times). Online visits can be conducted using a videocamera but the term is also used for visits carried out over the telephone when the history is online, and the doctor documents the visit online.

Continue Learning about Online Health Care

What Does Wikipedia Say?
What Does Wikipedia Say?
My next patient to see had an extremely rare form of brain tumor. Age? 31. Let me rephrase that—what I soon learned was that my patient had googled h...
Read More
What are the limitations for using online care or an e-visit?
Lisa J. Broyles, MDLisa J. Broyles, MD
Limitations would include that our physicians are not substitutes for having a regular primary care ...
More Answers
How do I pay for online care or an e-visit?
Haya Rubin, MDHaya Rubin, MD
Some people are signed up for services such as MDLiveCare by their employers, or sign up themselves ...
More Answers
With So Much Digital Health Information, Are We Creating a Nation of Hypochondriacs?
With So Much Digital Health Information, Are We Creating a Nation of Hypochondriacs?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.