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Book a video consultation now – it’s quick and easy*

*A digital consultation can help with many symptoms. Learn more here.

  • Fill out survey
  • Make appointment
  • Use a smartphone or tablet to consult a doctor

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Video consultations with Curalie – consult a doctor online

With the Curalie app for Android and iOS, you can now see a doctor easily, quickly, and securely online. The video consultation feature lets you get professional help from medical experts in just a few clicks – from anywhere, without the hassle of getting to a doctor’s office, with no wait and no risk of infection.

Telemedicine services such as video consultations have become much more important and popular in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. One in three residents of Germany has visited a doctor online. (1) And the digital trend is ongoing. With Curalie, you can now plan your doctor’s appointment and consult a doctor easily, securely, and conveniently from wherever you are. Simply sign in and book an appointment to get started. You can also get a doctor’s note or prescription online.

What is telemedicine?

Video consultations are an important pillar of telemedicine, but not the only one. Telemedicine is the term used for any interaction between a doctor and patient that takes place remotely. The relevance of telemedicine has increased significantly during the pandemic, but even before the pandemic it was gaining popularity because it helps to solve a number of problems. Telemedicine unlocks new approaches, especially in rural areas, where there may be shortages of specialists and the nearest hospital or doctor’s office may be far away. Further examples of telemedicine include second opinion portals, videoconferencing between doctors, and telemonitoring. Telemonitoring is the term used for reading information from mobile measuring devices installed in the homes of patients with chronic disease remotely or via the Internet. Remote-controlled surgical robots can also be thought of as a kind of telemedicine, even if the surgeons are at the same medical center as the patient, just not in the same room.

How a Curalie video consultation benefits you:

  • Making an appointment is easy
  • Easily contact your doctors from anywhere
  • Stringent data protection and privacy compliance
  • 4.5 stars in the App Store

What are the steps in a video consultation?

It’s simple, flexible, and doesn’t take much work. It takes just a few clicks to enter the digital waiting room. All you need is an Internet-capable smartphone, the Curalie app, and a stable Internet connection. During the online consultation, you can talk to our experts about any and all of the important issues on your mind.

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  1. Book your desired appointment & enter data
    You can use the Curalie app to book your desired appointment quickly and easily. Open the Tele-Doctor feature, select an available time window, and enter some information on possible pre-existing diseases or conditions and symptoms. That’s it!
  2. Get your login code
    Right after booking, you will receive confirmation of your appointment and an e-mail containing a link. The link will take you directly to the video consultation at the agreed time.
  3. Your video consultation can start
    The process can start. When it is time for your appointment, click the link to enter the digital waiting room. Your doctor will join to start your personal consultation online.

CHECKLIST

How to prepare for your online consultation

Quick and flexible: Our digital consultation is a real winner for its ease of use. Anyone can do it! Here is a list of what you need to consult your online doctor at a glance.

Smartphone or mobile device with camera and microphone

The Curalie app and an e-mail address

Stable Internet connection

Health insurance card and ID

Information you need for the video consultation

Before your appointment

To ensure that making an appointment for your video consultation goes as quickly and smoothly as possible, we need some information in advance. This means it is a good idea to have the answers to these questions and any important documents ready before you make your appointment.

  • What health problem do you want to discuss with the doctor?
  • What are your current symptoms and pain level?
  • How severe are the symptoms, on a scale from 1 to 10?
  • Are there certain movements you cannot make right now?
  • Do you have any chronic or pre-existing diseases or conditions?
  • Are you currently taking medication? If so, which medication(s), and at what dosage?
  • Do you experience any bothersome side effects from these medications?
  • Have you had surgery in the past four weeks? If so, what was the procedure?
  • Have you ever had surgery or an operation of any kind? If so, what was the procedure?
  • What chronic diseases or conditions are there in your family?
  • Do you regularly consume nicotine, alcohol, or other addictive substances?
  • Personal information: weight and height
  • You should also write down any questions you wish to ask your doctor during the online consultation and take notes during your appointment.
  • You can also request your electronic patient file from your health insurer. As of January 2021, all health insurers are required to provide these files.

Depending on the topic you wish to discuss with the doctor, you may also need to provide further information, or you may be asked different questions. Especially for those with chronic or pre-existing diseases or conditions, this means it is important for you to have all of the existing documents and lab values and similar items on hand before the appointment starts.

During your appointment

The more information is available during your appointment, the more accurately it is possible to provide you with a diagnosis or recommend next steps via a video consultation. The following information is not absolutely necessary, but depending on your symptoms, it may make it easier for the doctor to provide a treatment or diagnosis remotely.

  • Are you running a temperature?
  • Do you have a blood pressure meter or your blood pressure values on hand?
  • Have you tested positive for SARS-CoV-2? If so, do you have exact test results / lab values on hand?

Further tips for an optimum appointment

  • Test your smartphone’s camera and microphone
  • If you have a good Internet connection at home, it is best to connect to your home Wi-Fi on your phone.
  • Have your dial-in information and PIN/password available
  • Join the meeting a couple of minutes before the appointment so the video consultation can start on time
  • Find a calm and quiet place with adequate lighting
  • Feel free to ask friends or a family member if they wish to accompany you to your appointment
  • Be sure to ask if there is anything you don’t understand during the conversation!

Download the Curalie app

With Curalie, you have better control over your health than ever before. Download the app now and see for yourself!

3 out of 4 survey respondents like the Curalie app

Sample size: 1,004. Curalie GmbH (2021). Market research 2021. Appinio.

Source: Umfrage der Stiftung Gesundheit / health innovation hub – Studienreihe: “Ärztinnen und Ärzte im Zukunftsmarkt Gesundheit 2021”

Video consultations were limited to a few select disciplines up until April 2019, but have gained a lot of momentum since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Doctors from almost any discipline have been able to offer online consultations since the fourth quarter of 2019. From dermatology to psychotherapy and even dentistry, patients needing almost any kind of care can benefit from the advantages of digital healthcare these days. That is true even if the patient has never visited that doctor’s office in person. Before the pandemic, the initial doctor-patient contact generally had to take place in person at the doctor’s office. The restrictions imposed by the German regulations on doctors’ fees have also been loosened, going from the previous rule that a maximum of 20% of medical services could be provided via video consultations in a given quarter to 30% now. If there has been at least one in-person contact between the doctor and patient in a quarter, video consultations can be used even more flexibly and more frequently with that patient.

All this means that booking appointments and seeing a doctor online have become routine at more and more doctor’s offices and for more and more people these days. Doctors can only use certified software and tools that have been tested by the statutory health insurers for video consultations. The Curalie app meets this requirement, of course. You can rest assured that all of the requirements set by the German National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV) and your health insurer on topics such as data protection and privacy are met.

According to the KBV, the number of video consultations rose to about 1.2 million in the second quarter of 2020. (5) There were “only” about 200,000 online consultations in the first quarter. The pandemic was a crucial factor in this development, of course, but the trend is set to have staying power due to the many advantages of video consultations.

Source: KBV (https://www.kbv.de/html/1150_50419.php)
Source: https://www.cgm.com/deu_de/magazin/artikel/clickdoc/2020/halbjahresbilanz-2021-aerzt-innen-rechneten-2-3-millionen-videosprechstunden-ab.html

Overview of advantages of video consultations:

  • No risk of infection (cross-infection) and no wait times in hospitals or waiting rooms
  • In rural areas, video consultations and telemedicine can help close the healthcare gap.
  • Older people and those with mobility restrictions in particular can avoid lengthy and laborious trips to the doctor’s office.
  • It is easy to ask interim and follow-up questions.
  • Video consultations are an ideal way to meet patients’ increasing need for digital information, which is otherwise served by a wide range of Internet portals, a situation that can cause further uncertainty and spark anxiety. This way, patients can contact doctors directly and easily to clarify any questions they may have after doing research on Google.
  • Doctor’s notes and typical seasonal illnesses like the common cold and flu take up less healthcare resources.
  • Obtaining a second opinion after visiting the doctor is much easier, including as compared with paid second opinion portals.
  • Follow-up questions on lab values or test results can be uploaded online conveniently and easily. Curalie has a specific secure upload area for this purpose.
  • The technical requirements for doctors and patients to use video consultations and telemedicine like the options offered by Curalie are manageable (Internet connection, microphone, camera, and an app)

An online consultation is an effective way to fight uncertainty

There are strong arguments in favor of video consultations, especially increased efficiency for medical practices, reduced risk of infection, shorter wait times, and the opportunity for patients to ask doctors questions that they would otherwise ask Google alone. After all, more than one in two people in Germany now looks up symptoms of illness on the Internet regularly. (2) But only a third of those people go on to consult a doctor. (3)

Mobility restrictions, fear of in-person contact, and simple lack of time keep many people from visiting a doctor. These people are left on their own with their concerns, which may stem from online research itself, and they may not seek care for important symptoms.

Video consultations are much more flexible and easier to incorporate into daily life – regardless of where people live, their mobility, and their work schedules. All of this significantly reduces barriers to consulting a doctor. And that’s important, as medical advice is now more important than ever.

Google often provides wrong answers

study by Edith Cowan University (ECU) found that the results of a Google search relating to medical symptoms lead to incorrect diagnoses in most cases. (4) Although the quality of search results is improving steadily, this still means there are currently millions of people who rely on incorrect information every day to make treatment decisions without a doctor’s advice or decide whether or not to make an appointment to see a doctor.

A similar picture emerges for the period immediately following a doctor’s appointment. About 60% of people in Germany google for a second opinion or alternatives to the recommended treatment immediately after seeing their doctor. (2) In these situations as well, video consultations are an excellent option, as they are a quick and easy way to ask a doctor for a second opinion online instead of turning to Google.

Safety first! Your data are safe with us

We want you to feel comfortable during your video consultation. Our goal is for you to be able to talk with our medical experts online with the same level of trust as usual. That’s why the security of your data is a top priority for us. We use a secure server to provide particular protection for your data. You don’t need to worry that anything you discuss with your online doctor might be accessible to others. The requirements concerning data protection and privacy are defined by entities including health insurers and the German National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV) and undergo regular review.

Our top priorities:

  • Protecting your data
  • Compliance with stringent security standards
  • Doctor-patient confidentiality always applies, whether online or in person

No costs

And incidentally, a video consultation is completely free of charge for you. This format is paid for by all German statutory health insurers. Private patients can easily submit the bill afterward to their private health insurer for reimbursement of the costs. 

  • Your health insurer foots the bill
  • No added costs

In which medical specialties are online consultations possible and a good idea?

A video consultation is a very flexible option for you as a patient and for doctors as well. This option is available in almost all fields of medicine. With Curalie, general medical advice can be provided digitally. From advice to follow-up care, your online doctor is here to help you with expert advice.

We are also always hard at work on expanding the range of services we offer for online consultations to other fields and specializations.

In general, video consultations with the following types of specialists are available:

  • Ophthalmologists
  • Surgeons
  • Gynecologists
  • Dermatologists
  • Alternative medicine practitioners
  • Ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors
  • General medicine practitioners
  • Internal medicine
  • Orthopedics specialists
  • Psychotherapists and psychiatrists
  • Urologists
  • Dentists
Source: https://www.stiftung-gesundheit.de/aerzte-im-zukunftsmarkt-gesundheit-2020-videosprechstunden/

Typical symptoms and illnesses for which online consultations are a good idea

In general, telemedicine, which includes video consultations, is still in its early days. This means there will be more and more opportunities going forward. Right now, online consultations are especially suitable for general medicine, getting a second opinion, initial and follow-up advice, and to get a doctor’s note for work in case of simple seasonal illness. But more specific applications are also possible. Examples include skin cancer screening with a dermatologist and denture consultations.

Most frequent topics of video consultations:

  • Infectious diseases & inflammation
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Skin issues
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach ache (abdominal pain)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Fever
  • Back pain
  • General joint pain
  • Psychological problems
  • The common cold

Assumption of costs of video consultations by health insurers

Good news! Digital consultations are fundamentally covered by all German health insurances, and if you have health insurance, there is no cost to you. Many telemedicine services made great strides during the Covid-19 pandemic. Online consultations are now included in the regular services provided by physicians under the statutory health insurance system, for example. Your doctor bills for the video consultation just as he or she would for an in-person meeting, using your insurance information to interact directly with the German National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV). There is nothing more for you to do, and no cost to you.

  • No cost to patients with German statutory health insurance
  • If you have a German private insurance, you receive a bill for the online consultation in the mail at home. You can then submit this bill to your health insurer for reimbursement as usual.

Is it possible to get a doctor’s note for work online via video consultation?

In a word, yes! It is also possible to get a doctor’s note for work via a video consultation. If your doctor can get a good impression of you and your symptoms online, then he or she is allowed to issue a certificate stating that you are unable to work.

  • Up to 3 days: If this is the first time your online doctor is meeting you
  • Up to 7 days: If your online doctor already knows you

With Curalie, your doctor’s note is then simply sent to you at home by mail afterward.

If you are still not doing well after receiving your doctor’s note, it is important to visit a doctor in person for an examination. It is not yet possible in Germany to obtain a follow-up doctor’s note digitally, without personal contact.

For further questions about online consultations, please see the FAQ

For whom is a video consultation suitable?

One of the advantages of video consultations is that anyone can use them, whether they have statutory or private health insurance, young or old. With a smartphone and the Curalie app, these consultations are easy to handle and can be a valuable option for anyone. Telemedicine applications such as online consultations are very popular right now, with more and more people making use of these options.

Are my data secure?

Protecting your data is a top priority for us. At Curalie, we meet stringent security standards so you can feel free to speak in confidence during your video consultation. Your data are given special protection by a secure server. You don’t need to worry that anything you discuss with your online doctor might be accessible to third parties.

Can my online doctor write prescriptions for me?

With Curalie, you receive your online prescription in the mail at home. It’s easy! After assessing the medical necessity, your doctor can issue the prescription to you after your video consultation.

What are the disadvantages of an online consultation?

Anything your doctor can determine by asking questions or performing a “visual diagnosis” is possible via a video consultation. Of course, there are also examinations that cannot be performed via a video consultation. Diagnostic exams like a blood draw, ECG, or X-ray still require a patient to go to the medical office in person so the doctor can make the right diagnosis.

Download the Curalie app

With Curalie, you have better control over your health than ever before. Download the app now and see for yourself!

SOURCES

(1) Bitkom Research (2021). Digital Health 2021. Available at: www.bitkom-research.de/system/files/document/BitkomPK-DigitalHealth21-Charts.pdf

(2) Lenstone (2020). Survey: Krankheitssymptome Googeln (Googling Symptoms of Illness). Available at: www.lenstore.de/forschung/krankheitssymptome-googeln/

(3) Hill, M. G., Sim, M., & Mills, B. (2020). The quality of diagnosis and triage advice provided by free online symptom checkers and apps in Australia. The Medical Journal of Australia, 212(11), 514–519. https://doi.org/10.5694/mja2.50600

(4) Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung (2021). Praxisnachrichten (Practice News). Available at: www.kbv.de/html/1150_50419.php

(5) Zentralinstitut für die Kassenärztliche Versorgung in Deutschland (2021). Veränderung der vertragsärztlichen Leistungsinanspruchnahme während der COVID‐Krise (Change in Use of the Services of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians During the Covid Crisis). Available at:  www.zi.de/fileadmin/images/content/Publikationen/Trendreport_4_Leistungsinanspruchnahme_COVID_2021-04-19.pdf

(6) Stiftung Gesundheit (2021). Ärztinnen und Ärzte im Zukunftsmarkt Gesundheit 2021/ 2. Ein Jahr Digitale Gesundheitsanwendungen (DiGA) in der Praxis. Erkenntnisse und Erfahrungen (Doctors in the Future Health Market, 2021/2. A Year of Digital Health Applications in Practice. Findings and Experiences). Available at: www.stiftung-gesundheit.de/pdf/studien/aerzte-im-zukunftsmarkt-gesundheit_2021_2.pdf

(7) Stiftung Gesundheit (2020). Ärzte im Zukunftsmarkt Gesundheit 2020. Ärztliche Arbeit und Nutzung von Video­sprechstunden während der Covid-19-Pandemie (Doctors in the Future Health Market, 2020. Work in the Field of Medicine and Use of Video Consultations During the Covid-19 Pandemic). Available at: www.stiftung-gesundheit.de/pdf/studien/aerzte-im-zukunftsmarkt-gesundheit_2020_1.pdf

*A digital consultation can help with many symptoms. Learn more here.