Google may be entering the teleheath market in the near future.
Several users searching the web for symptoms of illness have seen a new link appearing at the top to invite them to talk to a real doctor.
Engadget got Google’s confirmation that it is indeed testing a Helpouts-style feature which offers video chats with doctors. Although details haven’t been provided yet, it is our understanding that Google is covering the costs of the chats during the trial phase. And if everything goes as planned — as in, users like the service — this may be rolled out across all the states where telehealth services are legally allowed.
This in turn doesn’t sound like good news for the likes of Teladoc and Doctor on Demand which got a competitor they’ll have hard time competing with. Next would be for Apple, Microsoft and Facebook to launch something similar and this market is pretty much closed for any new entrant.
We’ll be on the lookout for additional information and get back to you when we get some details like how much these virtual visits are going to cost once the service launches. Stay tuned.