This is a good post to read if your goal is finding your own telemedicine patients online. For example, if you have your own telemedicine service and want to recruit customers. It’s no different from how Direct to Consumer Telemedicine companies find patients.
I’ll discuss a few methods and I’ll dive into the details in future posts. Neither of these options is necessarily better than another. It depends on what which method you feel most comfortable with and the nature of your market.
Finding Telemedicine Patients Online
If you start your own telemedicine practice then you’ll need to recruit patients. Unless you had your own private practice before and converted some of those patients over to your digital practice.
Regardless of which method(s) you choose below, you have to be aware of certain laws, which are often state dependent. The ads you place and the claims you make are regulated by the FTC and your state’s medical board.
Also keep in mind the CAC – customer acquisition cost. Google Ads might be, for example, the most expensive way to recruit patients. But if you were to do it through a Reddit forum then you’d spend a lot more time. But…. you’d also learn a lot more from the Reddit forum.
1. Advertising in Forums
Let’s say you’re Family Medicine doctor or a Pharmacist who wants to specialize in Psoriasis. You don’t need to be a dermatologist if you’re planning on advising your patients on how to manage their Psoriasis.
You can go on a forum like Reddit for Psoriasis and start answering patient questions. This will not only improve your skills but you’ll develop a small following.
Be respectful of the rules of the forum. But if you know what you’re talking about, people will privately message you. You can convert such individuals to patients.
2. Google Ads
I came across a great write-up by Brighter Vision on how to create your own Google Ads campaign. I couldn’t have written it better myself even though I have experience creating Ad campaigns. So read through that article and get a sense of how to recruit telemedicine patients for your niche practice.
I think Brighter Vision is a fantastic company but it’s a good idea to try your hand at creating Google Ads before turning it over to another company. You will realize how much work it is and how important the content of the ad is in converting an ad into a sale.
3. Facebook Ads
You have to be careful when it comes to advertising for a particular disease on Facebook. I have written about this before. You could accidentally create HPI if you’re not careful about how you do it.
I would recommend reading up on Facebook Ads and how to navigate it as a medical entity. It’s not impossible but you have to take certain precautions.
4. Patient Interest Groups
Interest groups are ubiquitous for specific disease; let’s go with Psoriasis again: psoriasis.org. They have an online community and other resources for patients which you can use as a referral source.
You can start advertising your consultation for free; be a community expert on the topic. The word of mouth and the “sponsorship” from psoriasis.org will be very valuable to you.
5. Organic Search
If your website gets large enough and if your content is written with a good SEO strategy, your website will be found organically.
What does organic mean? So, when a person googles natural remedies for my psoriasis, your website will come up because you have included those keywords into a post.
You then will have a link on that website where the person can become your telemedicine patient, if they are located in your state. This will be your landing page – an important page to build out.
Once you choose a niche topic, you can start posting content on IG and create a following, Don’t post pictures of yourself or irrelevant content; the point is to inform your patient audience in a fun and lighthearted manner.
You can be the go-to person for Psoriasis or IBS or Tennis Elbow. Whatever you’re interested in, it’s easy to build an IG page and market yourself. The next level would be to buy ads on IG and promote your Telemedicine service.
I reached out to a Dietician in Portland and her and I agreed to share patients. Basically we’d be in a collaboration; she’d refer her patients to me if they needed clinical work and I’d refer my patients to her for any Nutrition intervention.
This can be done with a Podiatrist, Physical Therapist, Massage Therapist, Chiropractor, etc.
8. Local Clinics
There are many specialty clinics and primary care clinics which don’t have the bandwidth to add their own telemedicine services. You could take over for them and either build everything out or be a 3rd party contractor.
Integrating into their EHR isn’t hard these days with the use of API’s. You could even be a source of revenue for such clinics by recruiting patients through Google Ads.
9. Local Businesses
I found a coffee shop owner in Portland, Oregon who has enough employees that it would make sense for me to add her patients to my telemedicine roster. But in the end I decided to give up my medical license in Oregon.
This goes to show you that reaching out to local businesses is a viable option.