TECH BYTE: Meet with a Doctor Virtually


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Not everyone is comfortable going to a doctor’s office right now if they don’t have a big medical issue.

But using a smartphone or computer can make it more convenient than ever.

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“It’s just another way that we can bring healthcare to our customers, and they can do it in the safety of their own home at a time that is convenient for them,” said Mickey Blazer, Food City.

You no longer have to see a doctor in person as often as you used to.

More telehealth services are available, thanks to a partnership between Food City and Reliant Immune Diagnostics.

“It’s a telehealth service that allows our customers to connect with a licensed physician 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Blazer said.

All you have to do is go to Google Play or the Apple app store to download the MDBox app.

“And at that point, they would be asked a series of questions,” he said. “Then they would be based on their symptoms, they would be connected with a physician that is licensed in the state.”

Blazer says you don’t even need to be a Food City member to use the app.

“However, if they do put in a promotional code of ‘Food City,’ they will get $10 off of their first visit.”

Each visit is $39.

You can see a doctor through the app over a range of issues – from COVID-19, to allergy and even pink eye symptoms.

“You know, a lot of times our patients come to the pharmacy, and they ask our pharmacists what’s the best medication to take over the counter for a particular ailment that they have, and many times, our pharmacists have to tell them, ‘Well, you may need to go and see a physician to get you a prescription.’ And this way, this will be able to offer them access to a physician, and not have to go wait in a crowded waiting room, or wait for an appointment,” Blazer said.

MDBox isn’t your only option if you want to see a doctor virtually. There are several other apps you can use – like PlushCare, and Teladoc.

If you don’t want to necessarily use a smartphone app, you can talk to a doctor toll-free by phone, or online at

If you have an iPhone, the Teladoc app also works with Apple HealthKit, which you should already have on your phone.

Your most recent medical information, like blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate will transfer over to Teladoc.

The Zocdoc app also helps you find and book local doctors.

Check out reviews from other patients to see which physician is right for you. Then choose between an online video chat, or head to their office in person.

You can also scan your insurance card, and find doctors who match.

And, of course, if a prescription is needed after your visit, most of these services can send everything over to your pharmacy for easy pickup.

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You can watch Emily Cassulo weeknights on News 12 Now starting at 5:30. Emily also does stories on different tech products and issues for Tech Byte, which airs Mondays on News 12 Now. She joined the WDEF news team in September 2016 from News 12’s sister station in Columbus, Mississippi, where she worked as an anchor, producer and reporter. Emily is no stranger to the Volunteer State. Before moving to Mississippi, she worked at WBBJ-TV, covering crime and severe weather throughout West Tennessee. She loves living in Chattanooga, and exploring what the Scenic City has to offer. Emily is a Florida native, graduating from the University of Central Florida with a degree in broadcast journalism and minor in political science. While in college, Emily worked part-time as a reporter/web producer at News/Talk 96.5 WDBO. She broke her first news story there, which made national headlines, and covered the 2010 Central Florida congressional elections and the high-profile Casey Anthony trial. When she’s not busy reporting, Emily enjoys shopping, reading, playing the piano, and spending time with family and friends. Feel free to e-mail her at if you have any story ideas or just want to say ‘Hi.’