Doctor on Call: Virtual Appointments Now Available on Phone, Computer

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Ann Arbor-based Emergency Physicians Medical Group is now offering Michigan residents the option to connect with a physician through a smartphone or computer for a medical diagnosis and treatment as an alternative to going to an urgent care facility.

"Time and health are of the essence — especially for busy families," says Dr. Christopher Newton, president and CEO of Emergency Physicians Medical Group. “The ability to provide an alternative model of urgent care will revolutionize our health care delivery, and help meet modern health care needs."

Dr. Newton says the service, run through a HIPPA compliant site, offers diagnosis and treatment for common illnesses such as sinus discomfort, colds, flu, pink eye, bronchitis, and rashes.

He says patients can either go to CAREnQ.com or download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play. Patients will be asked to complete a questionnaire and then they can connect to a local doctor, usually within 15 minutes. If medications are prescribed, they are electronically submitted to the patient’s pharmacy.

The service is available for patients ages 2 and older. Consultations cost about $50 and service is available seven days a week.

Emergency Physicians Medical Group is now working with insurance companies across the state to offer the service as a benefit for employees.

In 2014, St. Joseph Mercy Health launched virtual appointments for patients at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, and St. Mary Mercy Livonia hospitals.

The Henry Ford Health System opened a clinic in downtown Detroit in July that offers on-site video conferencing for travelers and virtual visits with health care specialists.

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