MyHealthNewsDaily, January 6, 2011

Web camera doctors' appointments have their benefits and their drawbacks. Free online video-chat services let doctors check in quickly with patients, which can be more convenient for both. They let sick patients keep their germs at home, rather than bring them to an office. And doctors in some specialties, such as plastic surgery use the technology to extend the reach of their practices by having e-consultations with patients in far-away cities. But nothing can replace real-life contact with a patient, doctors say. There are nuances to medical conditions that can be conveyed only during face-to-face interactions. While the pros and cons of video-chats are debated, one thing seems certain: With technology creeping into more areas of our lives, the number of people making such appointments will only increase.

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