Patients are connected to a doctor — licensed in their state, and typically board certified — virtually immediately.
With that encounter, Moore joined an increasingly common but still controversial alternative to the traditional office-based visit.
Telemedicine — which can include anything from emailing your own doctor to video psychiatry appointments at rural clinics — has been part of medical care for more than four decades.
Within 24 hours of getting an antibiotic, Moore, a custom-home builder, bounced back.
"That saved my bacon for the rest of the trip," he says.
Increasingly, employers and insurers are including the services as part of benefits packages.
A recent survey of 140 large employers by the National Business Group on Health found that 74 percent of the nation's largest employers are offering telemedicine services in 2016, up from 48 percent in 2015.The patient might need lab tests or a physical exam, she says, "or if I think they need a higher level of care" she refers patients to their doctor or the emergency room.Last year, Elliott urged a 60-year-old woman to head straight to the emergency room, worried that she suffered from more than the fatigue and light-headedness that she had initially described. A seemingly minor condition like a cough — assumed by the patient to be seasonal allergies — could signal a more serious condition such as pneumonia or the early stages of heart failure, says Russell Thomas, who practices family medicine near Houston.However, a 2015 study in the same journal looking at prescription rates for respiratory infections found no significant difference in the number of prescriptions written by virtual doctors and by those who saw patients in their offices.In Texas, the state's medical board amended its rules last April to stipulate that doctors can't diagnose new patients via telemedicine unless a medical professional is on hand who can provide "objective diagnostic data." Lewisville, Texas-based Teladoc, the country's largest telemedicine company, which conducted more than 550,000 virtual visits in 2015, filed suit, arguing that the board was illegally limiting competition.En español | Bill Moore was attending his niece's wedding in Utah when he suddenly came down with a headache, sore throat and sinuses that he says were "killing me." He didn't know if his Vermont doctor could prescribe antibiotics several time zones away and disliked the prospect of tracking down a walk-in clinic.