In early August 2011 we did a review of the 2nd.MD service – where you can talk to the top doctors in the world without leaving your home. If you read the review you will see we were very impressed with the idea that parents could do an online video chat with top doctors across the world, all without ever leaving their home.
2nd.MD A Great Service in Theory, But What About in Practice?
While we firmly believed that 2nd.MD could be a great resource for parents looking for medical advice, we knew that we needed to have some parents test the service out before we could offer a firm recommendation of the service. As part of the original review, we asked for parents who wanted to try the service to contact us so we could have them give 2nd.MD a try. We selected two parents to try out the service and now want to share their honest views on 2nd.MD.
Sue, a Mom with Concerns on Food Allergies and Her Children
Sue contacted us and said she had a child with multiple life threatening food allergies and he was entering kindergarten this September. She was anxious to speak to an MD with an expertise in food allergies. This seems like a perfect way to test out the 2nd.MD service, so we had Sue setup an online appointment and all we asked was that she provide her honest feedback.
Here is Sue’s feedback, in her own words…
How long did you wait the last time you were in your Doctor’s office? When you finally got in to see him, did you feel rushed, and forget the questions you wanted to ask? What if you wanted a 9 PM appointment on say a Wednesday evening? Sound impossible? Not anymore, I did just that last week.
Who says Doctor’s don’t make house calls anymore? With an online company called 2nd.MD you can do just that. This website connects patients with Specialists from around the country in the comfort of their own home for an online video conference.
As a Mom of two young boys, ages 8 and 5 my time is very valuable. I can not stand wasting so much time in Doctor’s offices who treat their patients like our time is not as valuable as theirs. My five year old has multiple life threatening food and latex allergies and getting access to top notch Doctors and the latest information to keep him safe is my main concern and priority. With him starting Kindergarten next week I had many concerns and wanted as much knowledge from leading specialists in the field as possible. Food allergies are no joke and can progress to anaphylaxis in a matter of minutes.
With 2nd.MD I could quickly search through a database of many specialists. I was able to see their area of expertise , place of work, education, if they were board certified, etc. When I found one I was interested in speaking with it was nice to know I could make an appointment with him even though he was so far away. Since the appointment was by video on my computer, location was not a concern at all. Once I selected my Doctor, I then filled out a brief profile then clicked to book an appointment. You are able to select from available appointments, or key in a few dates and times that would be better for you. HA! Could you imagine? Convenience! So I requested, that Wednesday at 9 PM would work for me. When I got a confirmation that my appointment has been confirmed I was pleasantly surprised and a bit shocked.
I was not tech savvy enough to scan and upload my son’s blood work, so I took out my iPhone and took a few pictures. I sent them to 2nd.MD and got a quick response from the nicest Specialist, Spencer. He assured me not to worry, he took care of uploading my photos I emailed. The Doctor was now able to review my son’s blood work and questions before we even had our appointment. So Wednesday night, right after I put my boys to sleep, I made myself a cup of coffee, signed on to the computer around 8:45 pm to check everything was working. On the website it was counting down the time remaining until my appointment. Before I knew it there was a signal at exactly 9pm and he was there! I could tell right away he really had looked over the blood work and all my questions. We were able to get down to business right away. I was so pleased at the end of our appointment. I felt empowered with more knowledge than I had before. He was also able to offer advice and tips on how to handle different situations in school. When I ended our video call I said to my husband. “WOW! we just had a 9 o’clock appt. with a Doctor who actually gave me eye contact and dedicated 20 minutes of his time to just us, with out one foot out the door”.
At the moment 2nd.MD does not accept insurance. So that is something I would love to see in the future. I could see myself using them again. I don’t find $125 for my 20 minute appointment unreasonable. Especially considering the perks of access to so many specialists all across the U.S. On time appointments. No waiting room. No lines. Check out their website at 2nd.MD and see what you think.
Clearly our First Parent Was VERY Impressed with 2nd.MD
As you can see from Sue’s review, 2nd.MD worked exactly as promised and provide her with excellent medical information and did not waste her valuable time. To try 2nd.MD out in a slightly different scenario we had a Dad named Jeff give it a test run. Here is his story…
Dads, Back Pain and The Questions of What to Do
Jeff had back surgery to repair some issues with his back. Jeff loves to ski and is very active and wanted to make sure he was following the best plan in fully recovering from his back surgery. Jeff has talked to a few different doctors, one recommended more surgery while another recommended more rehab. Jeff decided to use 2nd.MD to talk to a specialist in spinal and back issues and get another opinion on what course of action to follow. Here is what Jeff said about his experience with using 2nd.MD –
I had my Appt with 2nd.md/Dr. Yang today. It was actually really good. He seemed to understand what I was talking about, and gave me some good/reasonable advice.
- No waiting in a waiting room
- Appt started exactly on-time. For most Drs, it can take 15-45 mins before you actually get to speak to a Dr.
- Dr. was knowledgeable
- Dr. looked at my records
- Service was easy to set up and upload records
- Audio transmission from me to the Dr was delayed. So, when I talked, I would hear myself in an echo a second or so later. This made it hard for me to talk with my headphones on. I have a fast connection and a fast computer, so I doubt it was anything on my end.
- I couldn’t see any way of uploading more complex images like an MRI.
Overall though.. I thought it was a good experience. I would do it again for a 2nd opinion or something that wasn’t an emergency, where I wanted an opinion. I wish it was covered on my insurance.
Two Parents, Two Positive Experiences With 2nd.MD
It was great to hear Jeff’s honest feedback. 2nd.MD is still in Beta, so it is not surprising that there were a few technical issues, which will probably be cleared up shortly. The one point that comes across in both Jeff and Sue’s experience with 2nd.MD is that they got terrific medical advice and there was no wasted time waiting to see the doctor.
Conclusion: 2nd.MD – Talk to The Top Doctors and Avoid All the Wasted Time
First we want to thank Sue and Jeff for testing out 2nd.MD for us and providing their honest feedback on the service. In our original review of 2nd.MD we were excited about the potential benefits this service could offer to busy Moms and Dads. We are now thrilled about the real benefits that 2nd.MD is providing to anyone who needs expert medical advice. We look forward to 2nd.MD growing out of beta with improvements on the technical end and expanding the roster of doctors in the network. Still, even in Beta, 2nd.MD offers an incredibly useful resource that every parent should be aware of.
Visit 2nd.MD to Learn More About The 2nd.MD service
Read our original review of 2nd.MD
2nd.MD Online Access to Top Doctors Get 4 D’s (scale of 1 to 5) -
Any Product That Receives 4 or 5 D’s is Dad Does Approved!
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