Getting the flu can be a miserable experience, often resulting in days at home in bed recovering with the standard doses of fluids, cough medicine and decongestants.  Sometimes, persistent flu symptoms can require a doctor’s intervention, and even medication. Now, accessing that care is literally only a few clicks and minutes away.

Significant advances in mobile technology and telehealth over the last decade have made getting to that doctor for advice, treatment and medication is now as simple as picking up your mobile phone, tablet or computer and clicking to request a virtual telehealth consult. Patients can request a consult and it only takes about 10 minutes with some services until a doctor calls you back by phone or video chat to diagnose, treat and even provide a prescription, if needed.

For employers or those who are self-employed, the flu can also mean unexpected gaps in productivity, which can make employees and employers feel even worse. 

Traditionally, when a doctor’s advice is needed, we’ve had to make an appointment with our provider, or if you don’t have one it means a visit to the local Urgent Care or ER for treatment.  This can be time-consuming, frustrating and expensive, especially for those with limited or no healthcare benefits.

With much of our lives centered around our mobile devices, tablets and computers, it’s not surprising that you can now avoid the lengthy wait times and high costs of traditional treatment methods with a quick virtual visit from a telehealth doctor.

According to recent studies, nearly one third of our annual 1.25 billion visits to doctors, urgent cares and emergency rooms for minor illnesses can actually be treated via telehealth visits.

Regardless of insurance status, many online healthcare services connect users directly to medical care, including access to a Board Certified physician, licensed in the State they are in so a prescription can be written, if needed.  Some services include access to additional benefits, like a 24/7 nurse advice lines and a 24/7 email services that allow subscribers to email questions to a variety of healthcare provider.  Online healthcare services, like Hello Alvin, can cost significantly less for an entire year than just one visit to an ER or Urgent Care.

It’s not just for the flu. Dozens of routine minor illnesses can be treated through this technology.  In fact, the Teladoc service sees more than 1 million patients every year with more than 92% of cases resolved on the first visit.

The next time a family member isn’t feeling well, don’t pick up the car keys – pick up the phone.


Arif Razvi is co-founder of Hello Alvin.