Telemedicine represents a growing segment of the healthcare sector, and telemedicine companies are reaping the benefits of its rising popularity. According to the Global Telemedicine Market Outlook 2020, published by RNCOS Consultancy, the global market for telemedicine technology was estimated at $17.8 billion as of 2014, with a projected compound annual growth rate of 18.4% through 2020. (For more, see What Are the 5 Hottest Emerging Industries in 2015?)

Telemedicine Is on the Rise

With telemedicine seemingly on an upward trajectory, it’s likely that competition among companies may increase as newcomers enter the field. REACH Health’s 2016 U.S. Telemedicine Industry Benchmark Survey found that nearly two-thirds of healthcare providers included in the survey ranked telemedicine as one of their top priorities moving into 2017.

If you’re interested in telemedicine, either from an investment perspective or as a consumer who’s looking for more variety in how you receive medical care, here are five companies that have proven themselves as industry leaders.

CareClix

Founded in 2010, CareClix coordinates with board-certified physicians around the world to provide a variety of telehealth services, including high-definition video examinations and remote consultations. CareClix also operates a provider care group, allowing physicians to offer their patients general and specialized services on demand around the clock.

On the patient side, the CareClix platform allows you to file and track claims online. You can also schedule telemedicine visits online and update them anytime through the self-scheduling feature.

Doctor On Demand

Doctor On Demand takes the house call virtual, making it possible for doctors and patients to connect via live video conferences. Patients can be treated for a range of minor medical conditions, including sore throat, sports injuries, rashes and flu symptoms. In June 2015 the company announced a $50 million Series B funding round, designed to allow Doctor On Demand to expand its range of services and grow its customer base in the process.

MyTelemedicine

Recently named as one of the best entrepreneurial companies in America by Entrepreneur magazine’s Entrepreneur 360™, MyTelemedicine has emerged as a front runner in the industry. The platform allows patients to call or go online to schedule a consultation with a physician licensed in their state. A triage nurse takes note of their symptoms and updates the patient’s electronic health record.

The patient consults with the physician, who recommends a treatment plan. There’s no waiting in line at an urgent care facility or emergency room, and you don’t have to miss work to get medical care. In terms of options, patients can speak to a physician, pediatrician or even a behavioral therapist if needed. (For more, see Top Medical & Healthcare Software Companies.)

Teladoc

When time is of the essence, Teladoc (TDOC) connects you to the medical advice you need. Patients can speak to a physician via web, phone or mobile app in less than 10 minutes. The company reportedly has more than 17 million members who are served by over 3,600 licensed healthcare professionals, with 20 years of experience on average. In July 2016 the company announced that it had secured $50 million in capital from Silicon Valley Bank to further its growth efforts.

iCliniq

If you’re looking for a virtual hospital while you’re away from home, look no further than iCliniq. The company offers online access to over 1,500 doctors in more than 80 specialties, and the platform caters specifically to expatriates and travelers. Patients can consult physicians anytime, day or night, and pay a flat fee to get their health questions answered.

The Bottom Line

These telemedicine companies are at the top of their game, but this list is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what’s out there. If you’re considering making an investment in the telemedicine industry or using the services of one of these companies, it’s important to do your own research beforehand. That ensures that the platform you choose is the best fit possible for your portfolio or your healthcare needs.

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