Virtual doctor appointments are replacing in-person visits; it’s the clear direction that we are headed. While telehealth has had a slow start to overcome the technological and social barriers of moving care online, the pandemic has accelerated things.
According to a study, the number of healthcare companies that plan to increase investment in telehealth development has jumped from 77% to 93%. Providers are finally putting resources into developing the full potential of telemedicine.
The benefits to online appointments for patients are clear:
With the high demand for online doctors, you must be diligent about who you trust for your healthcare needs. In the early days of telehealth, there were just a few companies that offered virtual care. But today, online doctor portals are popping up everywhere. How do you choose the right one for you?
Below we will take a look at three OBGYN women’s health options that are currently available online:
If you’re looking for the traditional benefits of sitting and discussing your health with your doctor but prefer to do it from the comfort of your own home, My Virtual Physician may be what you are looking for.
Skip the wait to see your OBGYN. My Virtual Physician is truly a full-spectrum women’s telehealth provider. Our doctors are available and ready to see you today.
The message that we saw over and over when comparing women’s health online providers was that My Virtual Physician rises above the others when it comes to genuine concern and customized care for the patient.
When you start your appointment with our doctors, you get to converse directly, face-to-face with your physician.
The comments on Google reviews show that patients who see the doctors at My Virtual Physician are overwhelmingly pleased with their experience. Here’s what patients have shared:
“Dr. Howard was patient and knowledgeable. Very available and super helpful.Gave me a thorough explanation of my treatment options and helped me make my decision on my next steps.” -Esther
“Doctor was knowledgeable, empathetic, understating and even put extra effort in trying to save me money since I have no insurance. I'm committed to having My Virtual Physician as my primary Doctor by choice. My experience was fast and easy. Way better then spending several hours in a doctors office. Doctor's follow up was great!!!” -Erica
This type of personal interaction is something that cannot be replaced by chats or forms that other providers sometimes use. My Virtual Physician values the opportunity to provide access directly to patients.
As you can see in the reviews, the doctors at My Virtual Physician are experts in their field. Getting the correct diagnosis & treatment the first time is valuable for all involved; it saves time, money, and frustration.
The services that My Virtual Physician provides are full-spectrum. You can receive the following women’s health services from our OBGYN:
In addition to the above women’s reproductive health, My Virtual Physician offers additional services in some states.
Many online doctors only offer general care; however, My Virtual Physician was founded by a specialist. Dr. Howard is a board-certified OBGYN specialist who is licensed in nearly a dozen states and is focused on realizing his dream to make accessible women’s health care a reality.
So if you truly want an expert to get your reproductive health advice from, My Virtual Physician is in a unique position to meet that need. You won’t have to wait months to see Dr. Howard as you would if you try to schedule an appointment with a local OBGYN at a physical clinic.
While My Virtual Physician has mastered bringing the traditional doctor experience online without losing the personal interactive aspect, there are a few things to know when you schedule an appointment.
So you’re ready to book an appointment with My Virtual Physician. One thing to be aware of is the availability of appointment times. Currently, there is a short window each day that appointments are scheduled.
Appointments can be scheduled:
But don’t lose hope just yet; if you need to meet with our doctors outside of the window of times available on the scheduling assistant, just give us a call to see what we can do. In most cases, we can accommodate. Our primary mission is to make sure our patients receive the care they deserve.
Because My Virtual Physician is run by a tight-knit group of physicians who are experts in their field, it is not a huge corporation that employs endless numbers of doctors. This means that My Virtual Physician is only able to provide services to patients who live in the states where the doctors are currently licensed.
Reference the map below to find out if My Virtual Physician is currently available in your state, and which services are offered.
Let’s move on to another women’s healthcare online provider: Nurx.
Nurx’s mission is to make healthcare accessible, affordable, and better. However, its use is limited to more of a prescription and delivery service rather than a full-spectrum telehealth provider. Let’s go over some things to know about Nurx.
Nurx is convenient for receiving certain regular prescriptions and tests.
Nurx is great if you already take an established birth control that works and you don’t have the desire or need to consult a doctor. Nurx provides prescription birth control and a few other recurring prescriptions.
Once you complete the initial consultation, which consists of filling out some paperwork and paying a fee, your recurring prescription will be reviewed behind the scenes. Nurx has their own pharmacy that they use to send medication to you.
Your prescription is shipped to your door on a recurring basis. This is convenient if you plan on taking the same medication long-term, but it only works if the medication is not urgent. For example, you would not want to wait on shipping for antibiotic treatments if your body is trying to fight off an infection.
Getting tested for STIs carries some stigma and is a little awkward. We like that Nurx has developed some STI testing kits that can be self-administered in the privacy of your own home.
This is a good option only for regular annual testing and should not be used if you suspect you may have been infected. There is a long delay of seven working days after you send the test kit back to the Nurx lab for results on STIs.
Some of the issues women have had with Nurx are a bit concerning. For claiming to be experts in women’s healthcare, they have some explaining to do.
While Nurx serves a purpose, its biggest downside is that it lacks direct communication between you and your doctor. In fact, you don’t have a doctor with Nurx. Your paperwork gets reviewed by a doctor along with a stack of others.
A conversation between you and your doctor is the most effective way to truly meet your healthcare needs and manage your medication competently. It is impersonal when lacking face-to-face communication with a doctor.
Nurx operates more like a lab or pharmacy than a doctor’s office. There are quite a few reviews that show some recurring problems with Nurx’s subscription model:
Of the 12 conditions that Nurx can treat per their website, only half are related to women’s health conditions, which include:
Overall, Nurx might be ok if you are simply looking to get your medication or testing and don’t need any personalized care or advice. Next up: hers.
If you like your healthcare to have some sex appeal, you might be tempted to try a prescription provider called hers. hers was created as a branch-off from the original website, hims, which provides a wide range of similar men’s products.
hers provides hair care, skincare, and supplement products as well as mental health, and now, primary care services.
If you like the products that hers offers, hers can be a convenient option for receiving prescriptions regularly.
Hers is different from most online doctors because they carry their own line of personal hygiene products. Women must pamper themselves for optimal health, both mentally and physically. The products themselves are highly rated in customer reviews.
Similar to Nurx, hers also has their own pharmacy they work with to mail birth control prescriptions and other medications directly to your door each month. All of your prescriptions will be recurring subscriptions.
While the reviews we saw regarding the actual products tended to be positive, the patient reviews of the services that hers provides were overwhelmingly bad. Out of 10 reviews at the time of this article, 70% of the reviews were 1 star. Some of the biggest complaints were:
At first glance, you may not even realize that hers is providing healthcare services. Their website gives the appearance that hers is just a skincare product line. If you look closely, there is a link for primary care services. In their sexual health section, you can find:
While a few of those options may be convenient for recurring subscriptions, it seems like hers is more of a store pushing their products than a doctor who is serving their patient’s best interests.
While providing access to birth control is a noble cause, it may be irresponsible to do so without a proper assessment and time for discussion between the patient and doctor. Similar to Nurx, hers has no face-to-face appointment for women’s health care.
Their process includes completing an online intake form, chatting with a provider (it is unclear whether this is a video or text chat), and then receiving a prescription and refills in the mail if deemed appropriate.
Women’s telehealth has great potential to change how we see our doctors and specialists. Switching to virtual doctors is a step that most patients will be taking in the near future, if they have not already begun to do so. As you can see, not all online women’s healthcare providers are created equally, and each has their own set of benefits and setbacks.
If you’re looking to replace your OBGYN, be sure to choose a full-spectrum provider who can address all of your reproductive care needs. Schedule an appointment with My Virtual Physician today to find out what makes us different!