Telemedicine Software

Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice helps practices choose the right telemedicine software so they can see patients remotely and deliver more preventive care.

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OnCall HealthFrontRunners 2021

OnCall enables healthcare brands and enterprises to rapidly launch and grow a branded virtual care solution. The HIPAA and PEPIDA compliant cloud-based solution offers video (1:1 and group - up to 25 participants) and instant mess... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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Backline

DrFirst Rcopia is a cloud-based medication management solution that helps hospitals and other enterprises to monitor patient medication and safety. The "e-prescribing" feature aims at creating an electronic prescription which... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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Lifecycle Health

Lifecycle Health is a cloud-based and mobile telemedicine solution that is designed to help healthcare systems, hospitals and providers breakdown complex healthcare operations and streamline provider coordination and patient engag... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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PowWow

PowWow is a telemedicine platform that helps healthcare providers to connect with patients without disrupting the doctor-patient workflow. PowWow allows healthcare providers across various industries segments such as primary and u... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations

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athenaOneFrontRunners 2021

athenahealth recently named 2020 Best in KLAS: Small Practice Ambulatory EMR/PM, athenaClinicals, for 10 or fewer physicians, and Ambulatory RCM Services, athenaCollector, is providing cloud-based services for electronic health re... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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MendFrontRunners 2021

Mend is a cloud-based healthcare communication solution that enables patients and providers to connect and share files, messages, assessments, photos and data. Users and providers can use video conferencing and live chat tool... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Modernizing Medicine

Modernizing Medicine offers an integrated telehealth platform within its specialty-specific EHR system, EMA. Called modmed Telehealth, it offers synchronous audio and video telemedicine capabilities for specialty physicians as wel... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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UpdoxFrontRunners 2021

Updox is a healthcare communication platform for out-of-hospital healthcare providers that offers HIPAA-compliant telehealth, fax, texting, forms, and reminders, as well as other communication all within one space. Physicians, pha... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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VSee ClinicFrontRunners 2021

VSee is a telemedicine solution that helps medical professionals conduct online consultations in accordance with HIPAA regulations. It enables physicians to create customizable intake forms, schedule appointments and invite patien... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Secure Telehealth

Secure Telehealth is a HIPAA-compliant video conferencing software that can be used by organizations to provide patients with virtual healthcare. This solution is built to help providers increase access to care for patients. Secur... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Teleray

TeleRay is a web-based telehealth and imaging platform designed to help physicians conduct consultations with images on the screen. It may connect to modalities or PACS. Professionals may receive transmitted ultrasound examination... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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NextGen Virtual Visits

NextGen Healthcare offers NextGen Virtual VisitsTM, a unified, cloud-based platform that enables the user experience to follow the same intuitive workflow on web, iOS, and Android devices. The platform provides HIPAA-compliant, se... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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DocNow

DocNow is a digital health solution for medical practices and urgent care centers. It provides online appointment booking and telehealth features for patients. This solution can integrate with existing EHR/EMR systems to further e... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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SimplePractice

SimplePractice is a cloud-based mental health solution that helps wellness professionals automate processes related to managing client relationships via scheduling, payment processing, documentation and more. Key features include ... Read more

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TheraNest

TheraNest is an HIPAA compliant web-based mental health solution used by solo practitioners, large mental health practices, and nonprofit organizations. The solution is suited for therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and soci... Read more

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Doxy.meFrontRunners 2021

Doxy.me is a telemedicine solution designed for healthcare providers and mental health practices of all sizes. The solution is HIPAA compliant and offers a secure platform, video conferencing, and virtual waiting room features. A ... Read more

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TherapyNotes

TherapyNotes is a cloud-based mental/behavioral health software system that includes electronic health records (EHR), a patient portal, patient scheduling and medical billing. The solution is suitable for practices of all sizes, i... Read more

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Deputy

Deputy is a cloud-based human resource management (HRM) solution that caters to businesses of all sizes across various industry verticals and provides them employee management and scheduling functionalities. Deputy's rosterin... Read more

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Kareo Billing

Kareo is a web-based medical billing and practice management solution used by medical practitioners and physicians across the United States. The system suits small practices and billing companies. With Kareo, practices can schedul... Read more

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ChiroFusion

ChiroFusion is a cloud-based electronic health record (EHR) solution designed for chiropractors to manage key clinical activities such as scheduling, reporting and billing. ChiroFusion offers integrated practice management fe... Read more

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2021 Telemedicine Pricing Guide

Learn about the key aspects of accurate software pricing before you make your purchase decision.

Includes:

  • Pricing models & ranges

  • Unexpected costs

  • Pricing of popular systems

Buyers guide


Last Updated: June 17, 2021

What is Telemedicine software?

 

Telemedicine software is any technology that enables medical providers to diagnose or treat patients remotely using secure telecommunications tools like video chats, phone, email, etc.

It’s easy to see why you should start offering telemedicine services at your practice, but it can be hard to evaluate software solutions. Do you want a system that integrates with Electronic Medical Records (EMRs)? How do you make sure it’s HIPAA-compliant? What pricing model aligns with your budget? What the heck is a virtual waiting room?

In this buyers guide, we’ll help you answer all of these questions and more so you can offer virtual consultations through a new system as soon as possible.

Here's what we'll cover:

Telehealth vs. Telemedicine

The words "telehealth" and "telemedicine" are very often used interchangeably, but there is a key difference that users should be aware of.

Telemedicine specifically covers all remote tools and processes that allow doctors to see and treat patients remotely. It only refers to clinical services.

Telehealth, on the other hand, includes all remote clinical and non-clinical services. For example, doctors can use telehealth to attend remote administrative meetings and participate in continued medical education.

To summarize, telemedicine is a type of telehealth, but not all telehealth is telemedicine.

Telemedicine Use Cases and Definition

Before we start talking about software, we need to address our use of the term "telemedicine," since it can refer to a variety of scenarios where health care services and information are delivered through technology, including the following examples:

examples of telemedicine

 

Though all of these can be telemedicine use cases, most software solutions focus on facilitating virtual care between patients and physicians through video conferencing and secure messaging. In order to align our Buyer’s Guide with the health IT market, we’ll also be referring to telemedicine software as technology to enable remote patient-physician interactions through online video and messages.

Telemedicine Software Benefits

In a Gartner report (which is available to Gartner clients), analysts predict that one-quarter of all care in the U.S. will be delivered virtually by 2020. While adoption rates may not rise quite that quickly in your part of the country, it’s clear that there’s increasing demand for virtual care, and it can only benefit your practice if you start incorporating telemedicine software sooner rather than later.

In a Software Advice survey of U.S. patients who have never participated in a telemedical visit, 75 percent tell us they are at least "moderately interested" in having a video consultation instead of an in-person visit for a minor health issue, such as a rash or cold symptoms.

Because industry experts and patients both see value in this tech, you have a good chance of increasing revenue after implementing it. For example, you can expand your patient panel by seeing patients who live in rural areas and extend your office hours without adding staff or overhead costs.

In addition to the financial benefits, there are clinical advantages to practicing telemedicine. Because it’s more convenient for patients to schedule a telemedicine appointment, they are more likely to seek treatment from a primary care physician or specialist. The earlier you can detect a health issue, the better chance a patient has of responding favorably to the treatment plan.

Here are some additional advantages from our report, "Telemedicine Benefits Small Practices Can Capitalize On":

Top Telemedicine Benefits

 

Top Telemedicine Benefits

 

Common Functionality of Telemedicine Software

You can’t just open a Skype account and expect it to meet your needs for virtual care delivery. In addition to EMR integration (which we’ll cover in detail in the next section), a telemedicine platform should offer many of these functionalities:

Encryption/security protocols Data security features, such as encryption, make it possible to keep sensitive patient data safe and private for all your online consultations.
Video conferencing Enables face-to-face interactions on a computer or mobile device with high quality video and audio. Some solutions also allow screen sharing and multiway video so third parties (such as caregivers or translators) can also participate in a virtual consultation.
Instant message chat Allows doctors to exchange text-based messages with patients in real time before, during or after an appointment.
Appointment setting Patients are able to schedule telemedical appointments themselves by logging onto the system and selecting an available time slot from a calendar provided by your staff.
Billing Collect insurance information and process payments for each encounter.
Virtual waiting room A customizable site that allows patients to wait for a digital appointment to begin. You can add pictures or videos for patients to see while they stand by.
Clinical documentation Document patient encounters with digital notes and/or charts.
E-prescribing Create and send prescriptions to a patient’s pharmacy of choice.

Telemedicine EMRs vs. Stand-Alone Platforms

You have two main choices when it comes to telemedicine software: a stand-alone platform or an EMR suite that includes telemedicine functions in addition to other applications, such as accounting or a patient portal.

The easiest way to figure out which option is best for you is to determine whether it’s the right time to invest in a new EMR.

If so, it makes sense to choose a system that already has telemedicine functions built-in. Maybe you’ve been planning on replacing your current EMR, or perhaps you’re starting a new practice. Either way, it shouldn’t be tough to build a shortlist of solutions that fit the bill.

A growing number of EMR vendors are acquiring or partnering with companies that exclusively focus on facilitating telemedicine services. As a result, it’s much easier to use a single system for all your clinical services and documentation needs without having to do duplicate data entry.

Pricing for this kind of setup is significantly different from vendor to vendor. Cost estimates will largely depend on the size of your practice and how many applications you want to include in your software suite.

Since it’s possible to update health records seamlessly, telemedicine-enabled EMRs are best for practices that plan to offer virtual consultations to existing patients. However, even though that’s the desirable route, it doesn’t totally exclude practices hoping to attract new patients online through the telemedicine software (more details about that scenario below).

Examples of telemedicine EMRs:

Practitioners who are happy with their current EMR solution can always check with their vendor to see if the company now offers a telemedicine module or easily integrates with a third-party telemedicine solution. Keep in mind additional fees may apply for the added module.

The alternative is investing in a stand-alone telemedicine platform that may not interface with your EMR. That’s totally OK in many cases. Most stand-alone platforms allow you to schedule, bill and request medical histories from patients, so you don’t need an integrated EMR or practice management system for any of that.

Some stand-alone platforms even attract patients for you. Here’s how it works: Patients sign up for a virtual appointment with the first available doctor on the telemedicine platform and then they’re matched with you or another provider on the same platform. In this model, practitioners serve as independent contractors who are paid a percentage of whatever the patient pays per visit.

That service is optional for some stand-alone telemedicine systems, so the cost of ownership will again vary significantly from vendor to vendor. However, many systems charge a monthly subscription fee per physician for access to the software.

Examples of stand-alone telemedicine software:

  • American Well
  • Teladoc
  • eVisit
  • Doctor on Demand
  • Doxy.Me
  • WeCounsel

Key Considerations

Here are some important factors to think about before you implement a telemedicine solution:

HIPAA compliance. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a series of mandates that protect patient records against unauthorized access. You’re off to a good start if you’re evaluating telemedicine solutions that have the security protocols we described in our features table above, but that’s just the first step to achieving HIPAA compliance. In order to safeguard patient privacy and security while abiding by the law, you need to conduct a risk assessment. That is an overview of your current security measures and potential vulnerabilities. You can find out how to put together a risk assessment here.

Regulatory requirements. Telemedicine regulations are still being worked out in legislatures across the country. As health IT writer Cathy Reisenwitz recommends, "you may want to look into resources like the ATA State Telemedicine Legislative & Regulatory Trackers for updates on telemedicine policy. Regulations vary by state, so you need to research how insurance companies cover telehealth visits in your area."

FrontRunners

Your Guide to Top Telemedicine Software, February 2021

Software Advice uses reviews from real software users to highlight the top-rated Telemedicine Software products in North America.

Learn how products are chosen

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“Usability” includes user ratings for Functionality and Ease of Use.“Customer Satisfaction” includes user ratings for Customer Support, Likelihood to Recommend and Value for Money.Reviews analysis period: The reviews analysis period spans two years and ends on the 15th of the month prior to publication.