Dr. Google can hurt more than he helps. In fact, he usually hurts more than he helps. Due, in part, to the fact that he’s not board certified, has no credentials, and isn’t legally allowed to practice medicine in your state. Nevertheless, the public turns to Dr. Google in their time of need. Why? Because he’s cheap. Dr. Google charges nothing for a consultation.
But for those who are willing to pay a few extra bucks for a consultation with a real board certified physician, there’s Teladoc, which announced Tuesday that it has raised $18.6 million in a round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, with participation from existing investors Cardinal Partners, HLM Venture Partners, Trident Capital, and New Capital Partners.
Founded in 2002, Teladoc allows anyone to create an account and call a doctor for non-emergency primary care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For example, you wake up and find a weird rash forming on your leg. Is it shingles? Scabies? Psoriasis? Lyme disease? You can’t afford to take time off from work to visit your doctor during her regular hours, so you call up Teladoc and request a consultation. The average call-back time is 22 minutes, at which point you can have a phone or video chat with a board certified physician or pediatrician who’s licensed to practice medicine in your state.
The doctor checks out your electronic health record (EHR) and can then offer a diagnosis and a recommendation for treatment. If a prescription is needed, the physician can write up a short-term prescription and send it over to a pharmacy of your choice.
Each session costs little more than a co-pay ($38 or less) and has no time limit, which can translate to big savings over an urgent care center. Teladoc can also send you a receipt for your deductible, and can also send over a record of the consultation to your primary care physician.
Your EHR obviously plays a pivotal role in making sure you get the most comprehensive care possible based on your health history. Teladoc allows you to create a secure EHR that the doctor will update after each consultation for your records. You can access your EHR at any time, and in the event that you switch primary care physicians, or get a new job or insurance company, you can show your EHR to your new doctor.
“KPCB seeks to identify industry leaders in markets that address significant unmet needs and are poised for explosive growth,” said Dana Mead of KPCB, in a statement. “Teladoc and telemedicine clearly meet these criteria. We look forward to partnering with Teladoc to make a meaningful impact on the U.S. healthcare system.”
Teladoc currently has over three million members and its physicians have a 97% satisfaction rating.