Smartphones seem to be everywhere we go. They have cameras, apps and, rumor has it, can even be used to make voice calls. Pharmacy giant CVS is planning to add another ability to smartphones, the ability to see a doctor without having to go to an office. The service, which will be offered through the Minute Clinic arm of CVS, will have patients answer some questions about their ailment and then connect them, via video chat, to a licensed health care provider in their state. Chief Medical Officer of CVS Caremark, Troyen Brennan said, “Through this new telehealth offering, patients now have an additional option for seeking care that is even more convenient for them.”
CVS, along with other drugstore chains, has seen a downturn in their retail business and has been retooling with other services like in-store clinics and this health app. It’s not designed to treat major illnesses or emergencies; however, minor issues like upper respiratory infections or mild skin issues can be addressed with a video visit and that makes it much more likely that patients will get appropriate treatment rather than letting a small problem become a big problem.