Telemedicine is currently changing the face of health care across the United States. It started off as a niche service designed to help patients in remote areas receive the care they need. These days, telemedicine is being talked about as the next big initiative in health care. It still retains the basic function of assisting patients in remote areas, but due to its on-demand nature and instantaneous service capabilities, people all across the country (and planet) are seeing its plentiful benefits and advantages. It still utilizes telephones to a degree, but has received a huge thrust due to the rise of digital technologies. These devices form the cornerstone of our modern society, affecting every industry; health care is proving to be no different, with the introduction of things like specialized telemedicine apps.

Any communication with a doctor through a smartphone, laptop, desktop computer, or tablet can be classified as telemedicine. Telemedicine has many benefits, including savings of money and time to both patients and doctor, improved patient monitoring, better implemented resources, instant prescriptions from sites like MMJ Recs and Moosh, access to more personalized care, and the capacity to speak with your doctor instantly, at any time. All these benefits are making telemedicine an increasingly attractive prospect to many people, not just those living in remote areas. When we go on vacation, health care is a primary concern. The idea of being stranded in a foreign country after being stricken down by disease or illness is a sobering one, which is why many people take out travel insurance. But even then, what if you’re in a completely unknown location where no one speaks English and you need to consult with a doctor?

Divan Medical - Doctor at Laptop

It’s reassuring to know you can always access medical care through telemedicine apps when you’re away from home.

Luckily, telemedicine can help you there too. There are many telemedicine apps out there designed to aid people when they’re out and about, and you don’t even have to be in a foreign country, either; if you’re vacationing at home in the States and are out camping somewhere remote, these apps can help you avail of medical care in an instant if you get yourself into trouble. So if you’re planning a vacation somewhere far-flung sometime soon, consider downloading these telemedicine apps to feel completely at ease health-wise while you’re having fun on your break.

1. Doctor on Demand

Doctor on Demand does exactly what it says on the tin: it’s a doctor on demand service that lets you see a certified doctor for a video consultation service. The doctor can then write you a prescription (not always necessary if you happen to be abroad at the time), advise you on treatments plans, or respond to non-emergency medical issues. They’re also handy to consult before you go away, as they can refill existing prescriptions or prescribe new medications for your journey and travel. The app utilizes over 1,400 state-licensed physicians from all across the U.S. It’s free, but prices for consultations start at $40 for 25 minutes and $70 for 50 minutes.

2. HealthTap

HealthTap is one of the handiest telemedicine apps around – a virtual doctor’s office that lets you consult with a medical professional and get your questions answered. It’s up to you to choose the best option for the health care you need. Asking questions on the app is free, and it can be a great source of information if you’ve got any niggling worries about a symptom or condition, especially as these kind of worries can intensify when you’re abroad. Live consultations cost $44, so this app is a little more expensive than Doctor on Demand; however, the plus side is that you can invite your own doctors to join HealthTap, and therefore continue to avail of a professional you trust, even when you’re abroad.

Divan Medical - Nurse Smiling

Traveling? No problem! There are plenty of virtual ways to obtain medical advice now that telemedicine is advancing in the U.S.

3. Microsoft Health Vault

Microsoft Health Vault is a free online service where you can keep your health and medical records safe and to hand if and when you need them quickly. You can then share them with health care professionals from the app. This is a huge benefit when going on vacation, as you might just find yourself in a situation where you medical records are needed, because you’re dealing with a foreign doctor or team who have never treated you before. All the key data relating to your health can be inputted and kept secure, either manually or via upload from other telemedicinal devices.

4. Text4Baby

Traveling abroad when you’re pregnant can be quite an intimidating proposition, but sometimes it just can’t be avoided. Luckily, mothers-to-be and brand new mothers can avail of one of the most useful telemedicine apps around, Text4Baby, to ease any and all fears they might have. The service is run by the National Healthy Mothers and Healthy Babies Coalition, and uses good ol’-fashioned text messages so that one size fits all when it comes to phone type. Users remain anonymous; all you need to input is your due date and your ZIP code. You can then avail of a stream of informative, reassuring text messages that are sent in relation to your due date. This handy service is free, and it also doesn’t cost anything to receive the messages. If you’re afraid you’re going to miss something while you’re abroad with your new baby or pregnant, Text4Baby can help allay your fears.