As of Monday, Michigan Medicine is now offering online healthcare for minor illnesses such as the flu or pink eye, allowing patients to seek treatment from the comfort of their homes. These eVisits, accessible at MyUofMhealth.org, are available to adult patients seven days a week for $25.

Patients are able to fill out a questionnaire regarding their symptoms, similar to answering questions at the doctor’s office. The questionnaire is then reviewed by healthcare providers, who reference the given patient’s health record and respond with a prescription or care plan within 24 hours.

Michigan Medicine patients were already able to use an eVisit for cold and flu-like symptoms such as a sudden fever, body aches, chills, red eye, urinary problems, vaginal irritation, sinus issues and diarrhea.

The eVisit program successfully piloted last year at some of the Michigan Medicine Health Centers. Eighty percent of the patients who used eVisits during the pilot were able to get care without ever going into the doctor’s office.

In some cases, health care professionals will ask the patient to come into the office for an in-person examination or follow-up visit. Patients who are asked to come into the office are not charged for the eVisit.

A main advantage of eVisits is that they allow flexibility for people with busy schedules, as well as those who can’t afford to miss work. Additionally, online visits keep patients with contagious illnesses at home and prevent them from spreading viruses.

“Michigan Medicine, and other health systems across the country, are looking for ways to be more responsive to what patients want,” Larry An, medical director for the Telehealth Program at Michigan Medicine, said in a University press release. “The greatest advantage is convenience and providing the right care to patients with minimal disruption to their daily lives.” 

Michigan Medicine is hoping to expand its online care services in the future by extending online care to pediatrics, making virtual visits available to children within the next year or so.

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