By Amy Yensi

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Cold and flu season is in full effect, and MedStar health doctors say they’re seeing a spike in patients.

But for those who can’t make it in to see a physician in person, there’s a website and an app for that.

“The goal of MedStar eVisit is to make sure that we can respond to the needs of patients when and where they wish to be seen,” says Dr. Ethan Booker, an emergency physician and the medical director of eVisit.

Two years ago, MedStar teamed up with American Well to create the online service, and it’s catching on.

Dr. Booker says the virtual visits provide care and comfort. The web consultation is modeled after a traditional doctor’s appointment.

“A discussion of your symptoms and concerns and if a prescription is appropriate for the medical condition you have, a prescription can be sent to a pharmacy near you to pick up,” he says.

Patients who log on are connected to physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners in our region. The average wait time is 11 minutes, much lower than the typical office visit.

Dr. Booker says eVisits are in no way meant to replace emergency room visits or in-person check-ups.

“The diagnosis of serious illness over a video connection is limited, but the opportunity to describe symptoms that might be a concerning and lead to an in-person visit is an important possible intervention,” he says.

For MedStar patients, the eVisit diagnosis is added to the patient’s medical history. The service is covered under some health insurance plans.

MedStar reports that young, busy moms are the top users of the service. For more information, CLICK HERE.

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