An Uber for Doctor House Calls
Aug. 8, 2017
In this “smart” age, it often seems as though there is an app for everything. Locate a destination? Check. Order your Starbucks? Check. Scratch an itch on your nose? Well, not quite yet, but you know it’s coming. The health care industry isn’t immune from the app age. Far from it. It seems health care awareness is on the uptick everywhere as our Concorde students and graduates know too well.
And now, there are new smartphone apps that can deliver a doctor to your doorstep.
A New York Times article detailed the new app, Heal, a smartphone app similar to the on-demand car service, Uber. Users download the app into their smartphones and then type in a few details such as address and the reason for the visit. After adding a credit card and a request for a family doctor or pediatrician, the physician arrives in 20-60 minutes for a flat fee of $99.
More Heal health care awareness
Heal began in Los Angeles about 1 ½ years ago, expanded to San Francisco and now is available in Orange County, Silicon Valley, San Diego and Washington D.C. Heal doctors are on call from 8 a.m.-8 p.m., seven days a week.
Heal doctors arrive with a Medical Assistant and are stocked with many of the latest technological gadgets, including tools to take your vitals or shoot high-definition imagery of an interior organ.
“We’re bringing back old-school techniques with new-school technology,” Dr. Renee Dua, a founder and chief medical officer of Heal, said in The New York Times piece.
Heal doctors offer limited services, but can diagnose and treat ailments like bronchitis, give flu shots, stitch up a nasty cut or write a prescription. They’ll even pick up that prescription for an extra $19.
Health care awareness about similar services
A similar service to Heal, Pager, was started in New York City by, notably, Oscar Salazar, who was part of the team that created Uber. A first-time Pager home visit costs $50, regular visits are $200 and a physical is $100.
Go2Nurse brings a nurse to homes in Chicago and Milwaukee and includes at-home pregnancy care, help with newborns, eldercare and specialized care for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients, among other services.
Curbside Care offers house calls in the Philadelphia area from nurse practitioners and physicians.
One of the most popular apps is San Francisco-based Doctor on Demand, backed by Google and TV personality Phil McGraw. The app, which offers access to 1,400 board-certified physicians, has been downloaded a few million times since introduced in late 2013. For $40, a physician or pediatrician will consult with you via video.
“There’s a huge access problem to primary care in the U.S.,” Adam Jackson, a founder and chief executive of Doctor on Demand, said in The Times article. “The average wait time to see a doctor is 20 days. People really want and need something faster, and now we have the technology on both sides to get it.”
These apps pose fantastic opportunities for Concorde students and alumni on two fronts. Not only are there opportunities for receiving low-cost health care in a convenient fashion, but perhaps there might be employment opportunities for some of our Nursing and/or Medical Assistant graduates.