Telehealth is the practice of using modern technology to provide health services remotely. In other words, telehealth software allows practitioners to interact with their patients using online video. They can provide services that don’t require physical touch or closer examination, such as psychiatric or psychological consults, addressing dermatological concerns, writing prescriptions and referrals, pacemaker monitoring, as well as routine complaints.
This is hardly a new concept and practitioners have often used it to provide healthcare in rural and other remote or even dangerous regions. The Covid-19 pandemic has further highlighted the usefulness of telehealth to the wider public – neither the patient nor the medical worker(s) had to see each other in person and potentially expose themselves to the virus.
Thanks to the developments in various areas of technology, telehealth software has become more capable and accessible, as well as easier to use for both patients and healthcare provisioners. However, not all telehealth platforms are equally good.
What functionalities should good telehealth software provide?
The best telehealth platforms have a few things in common in terms of their functionalities and features:
- Telehealth: Your software needs to allow you to deploy capable telehealth devices that will facilitate buffer-free and high-quality video consultations with your clients.
- HIPAA compliance: Short for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, HIPAA ensures the security and safety of your patients’ data. Your telehealth solution of choice needs to be HIPAA-compliant not just so your patients will fully trust you, but also to comply with the law.
- 24/7 online scheduling: Your patients want the option to book your services whenever it suits them the most, so choosing telehealth software that allows them to do this is adamant.
- Self-service: Having a dedicated self-service portal for your clients empowers them to book, reschedule, pay, and view any important medical updates and information at any time of the day.
- Payments and billing: Any self-respecting telehealth software provider will enable you to send online invoices to your patients and accept payments via popular payment processors.
- Patient records: You and your staff need to be able to view patient history, messages, and documents from a single place, so make sure opt for the solution that has this features.
- Cloud-based paperwork management: Going paperless and moving all documentation on the cloud is another requirement for a modern healthcare practice that ensures smooth and quick operation.
- Integration with other software: To make your practice run like a well-oiled machine, you want your telehealth software to integrate with popular third-party apps that expand on its functionality. These include Zapier, Square, Stripe, PayPal, Wix, Zoom, Gmail, Facebook, Google Calendar, and so on.
What is the typical price range/pricing model for telehealth software?
Different telehealth platforms can base their pricing depending on various key factors:
- size of your team
- type of service
- included functionalities
- subscription length
- how many clients you have
Typically, opting for such a platform would cost you anywhere from $0 for basic functionality to around $25 per month for the cheapest plan to $100 for a pro plan to as much as $17,000 for the full suite as a one-time payment.
Which are the best telehealth solutions?
Some telehealth service providers excel in their features, pricing, and capabilities, and we have singled out seven of the best:
Features: Through its HIPAA-compliant platform, vcita allows your patients to:
- receive your consult via Zoom
- book appointments
- share paperwork
- pay for your services
- get in touch with you
– via a user-friendly client portal. You and your team, on the other hand, can:
- deliver video consultations
- accept payments in multiple currencies
- schedule appointments with individuals or groups
- automatize email and SMS reminders
- view and manage patient history
- store and manage documents
- send mass texts and emails
- organize marketing strategies
- integrate with social media channels
- offer loyalty programs
- connect with Google Analytics and QuickBooks
- send customizable invoices
- manage the entire practice
– all from one single place.
Price: vcita has broken down its pricing plans according to functionality, depending on your team size and needs. A one-person practice with basic requirements can start as low as $19/month. However, larger teams (more than one person) start at $65/month, but with an upgraded plan. Not sure you like the platform? Then you can take it for a spin during a 14-day free trial.
Customer service: If you need help with any part of the platform, you can consult the provider’s searchable help center that covers anything from billing to features. Want to talk to someone on the team? No problem. You can reach out to the knowledgeable and friendly customer success team that will take care of your query in no time.
User reviews: Customers are overwhelmingly satisfied with vcita’s features, ease of use, customization options, customer support, and speediness. That said, some have noted a beginner’s confusion with the more complex options, as well as some tardiness from customer support which seems to be the result of simple miscommunication.
Best for: One of vcita’s main advantages is that it caters to all sorts of small businesses that offer services to their clients, with or without the telehealth requirement. This means vcita has got you covered regardless of your area of expertise:
- general medicine
- internal medicine
- massage therapy
- life coaching
Features: Teladoc isn’t a fully-featured telehealth solution like the others. It is more of a virtual medical group that gathers practitioners from different areas to directly provide non-emergency telehealth services as an extension to their practice.
- HIPAA-compliant telehealth devices for care providers
- platform patients can use to schedule appointments
- support for e-prescriptions
- reminders and notifications
- billing support
- online forms and questionnaires
- dashboard for practitioners
- document management
That said, there are no extra perks like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and marketing tools, practice management, loyalty programs, mass texting, social media integration, and many other extras you’d get with some competitors.
Price: With Teladoc, you purchase the access to software that allows you to provide telehealth services to patients. The provider starts its pricing at $49 per feature as a one-time payment. It doesn’t offer a free trial.
Customer service: The company’s website is a decent if somewhat scarce source of information on the platform. However, you can also contact the team directly via a web form or email, or call them on the telephone at any time.
User reviews: Although most of the online reviews are from patients who are either thrilled or disappointed with the doctors, there are some from practitioners too. Some weren’t happy with the poor management and technical glitches, but others praised it as a convenient, simple, and flexible platform.
Best for: Teladoc states it covers over 450 medical subspecialties, but mostly focuses on:
- mental health therapists
- general medicine practitioners
- internal medicine practitioners
Features: Kareo Telehealth is a HIPAA-compliant platform that provides:
- fully reimbursable video medicine consultations
- appointment scheduling
- confirmations and reminders
- billing and collections
- taking appointment requests from patients
- subsequent notifications to practitioners
- self-service portal
- practice management
Price: Kareo uses a unique per-usage pricing model. Customers adding telehealth to their practice receive the first 10 video appointments free of charge, after which every confirmed telehealth appointment costs $7. There’s no free trial but you can request a demonstration instead.
Customer service: Help and information are available via the searchable help center and resource library, as well as elsewhere on the website. The company also provides enrollment experts, online training, and live webinars for you and your staff.
On top of that, all customers are provided with live chat and phone support during normal business hours of 5 am – 4 pm PST. Email support targets response times of two days or less.
User reviews: Kareo’s customers have mixed opinions on the platform. Complaints referred to the difficulty of use, early termination fees, lack of customization, bugs, and poor customer support. However, the satisfied users praised the provider’s onboarding process, constant improvements, functionality, and pricing.
Supported fields: Kareo works with various roles in healthcare, including:
- office managers
- physician assistants
- nurse practitioners
– in over 45 different medical specialties.
Features: An HIPAA-compliant virtual care solutions provider, Vidyo offers:
- virtual patient room (telemedicine)
- Electronic Health Records (EHR) integration
- appointment scheduling
- calendar management
- screen share
- software endpoints running off-the-shelf software
- multidisciplinary consults
Price: The cost of the full VidyoHealth suite with all the features needed to deploy VidyoConferencing for telehealth providers starts at $17,000 and supports up to 25 users. There’s no free trial to test the service yourself, but you can watch a video demonstration to learn what VidyoHealth can offer you.
Customer service: If you run into any problems or simply seek information, there’s a searchable help center, blog, and glossary at your disposal. Another option is to make a phone call, send an email, or submit a ticket to elicit a response from customer support.
User reviews: Vidyo’s users haven’t yet left many reviews on it. Those who did are mainly satisfied with the platform, commending its reliability, customer support, and ease of use. They did report some problems, such as when trying to run the platform using Google Chrome and Safari, the tricky signup process, and poor video quality.
Supported fields: VidyoHealth is useful in different categories of patient care, including:
- emergency care
- acute care
- chronic care
- at-home care
- ambulatory care
- post-acute care
- remote monitoring
Features: Mend offers a full suite of HIPAA-compliant cloud-based tools for running a healthcare practice, including:
- telehealth software
- patient scheduling
- practice management
- EHR integrations
- digital intake forms
- group video and scheduling
- appointment reminders
- calendar invites
- prescription renewals
- billing and invoicing
- patient portal
- patient education
- AI-based algorithm for predicting no-shows and cancelations
Price: Mend has a free plan that offers its most popular features for free. The cheapest paid plan costs $29/month per provider. There’s no free trial but you can schedule a demo or simply use the free version.
Customer service: Although there’s no traditional searchable knowledge base, you can find a lot of information on the provider’s web pages and a blog. If you need to talk to someone on the team, you can do so via chat, email, or phone.
User reviews: In general, users like Mend, claiming it’s very easy to use for both patients and practitioners, regularly carries out system enhancements, and has plenty of useful features. The complaints among the disgruntled minority include software instability, its counter-intuitive nature, technical glitches, and slow customer support.
Supported fields: Mend can be useful to various healthcare organizations, ranging from small to large.
Features: Vivadox’s platform offers:
- HIPAA-compliant video appointments
- file exchange
- screen share
- patient chat
- paperwork management
- patient management
- emails and SMS
- document sharing
- booking and scheduling
- self-service portal
- activity dashboard
Price: The pricing is based on the number of providers and starts at $25 monthly per provider. The first month is free of charge. You may even get your hands on the very basic free plan through promotional offers and advertisements.
Customer service: You can find detailed information on the website, in the frequently asked questions section, the searchable help center, and blog. The provider also offers ways to establish direct contact via a web form, email, or telephone.
User reviews: Vivadox is a very young platform in the industry so it hasn’t yet gained any user reviews.
Supported fields: Vivadox supports various areas of healthcare provision, including:
- private practice
Features: Similar to Teladoc, DigiQure is an India-based company that provides practitioners with an HIPAA-compliant clinic management platform from which they can remotely assist their patients. Its features include:
- video consultations
- appointment management
- patient management
- pharmacy integration
- lab integration
- patient portal
Price: DigiQure lets you start free of charge with its basic plan. However, more complex functionalities are only available with one of its premium plans that start at only 499 rupees per month (annual plan), which equals around $6.70/month.
Customer service: You can find useful information on the website, including in the form of frequently asked questions. If you prefer talking to someone on the team, you can reach out via email or a phone number.
User reviews: DigiQure doesn’t have many user reviews yet, but the little it does have is positive. Its users mainly loved its CMS features, usability, and versatility. However, they did mention certain problems in terms of being slightly time-consuming, not having an iOS app for patients, and the existence of some hiccups initially.
Supported fields: DigiQure supports various fields of medicine, including:
- general medicine