Teladoc was founded in 2002 in Dallas, Texas by G.Byron Brooks EE MD and Michael Gorton. Billing itself as the oldest telemedicine company in United States, Teladoc’s initial business model allowed patients to remotely consult with state-licensed doctors at any time. Companies paid a monthly fee for their employees to access the service, while patients paid a flat fee for each consultation, originally about $35 to $40.
With Gorton as both chairman and CEO, Teladoc launched nationally in 2005 at the Consumer Directed Health Care Conference in Chicago, Illinois. Teladoc had around 1 million members by the end of 2007, with large employers such as AT&T providing the service to employees as a health benefit.
Teladoc Health divides its services into six categories: platform and program services, guidance and support, expert medical services, mental health services, telehealth, and integrated virtual care. As a software company, Teladoc Health is involved with artificial intelligence, analytics, and “licensable platform services.” The company primarily uses telephone and videoconferencing software to provide on-demand remote medical care, with patients able to log on to the service at any time and be connected with a board-certified, state-licensed physician within several minutes.
The company’s physicians treat non-emergencies such as the flu, pink eye, infections, sinus issues, mental health issues, and dermatological conditions, among others. The company has an expert network of 55,000 involved in 450 medical subspecialties. While medication can be prescribed remotely, physicians do not prescribe narcotics or “lifestyle” drugs such as Viagra, and refer some cases to clinics or emergency rooms.
In 2019, the company claimed that 92% of medical issues were resolved after the first visit. Physicians overall follow “more than 100 proprietary clinical guidelines” developed by Teladoc Health, and are prohibited from physically meeting their telemedicine patients. Teams of nurses review around 10% of each physician’s consults monthly.
Contracting largely with insurers and large employers, Teladoc Health generates revenue through a yearly or monthly fee charged per subscriber, as well as a fee for individual consults. Some companies waive or subsidize the consult fee for their employees. Teladoc Health has around 3,100 licensed physicians and nurses and services offered in about 30 languages.
According to en.wikipedia. Source of photos: internet