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Thanks to Obamacare, virtual-reality doctors are booming

September 24, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Jen Wieczner / Fortune

A fast-growing company called Teladoc has raised $100 million to pair up physicians and patients over the web.

Obamacare might not let you keep your old doctor, but it may pay for a virtual-reality physician--and you won't even have to get out of bed to get diagnosed.

For years, it has been possible to "see" your doctor without ever going into the office for an appointment, thanks to online chatting and videoconferencing technology. But few patients and doctors tried it because of one very big obstacle: Insurance companies wouldn't pay for it.

Now, that's finally changing. Teladoc, a so-called telemedicine company that facilitates virtual visits with real doctors, has convinced several major health insurers and employers to cover the remote consultations the same as they would an in-office appointment.

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