Medical consultations on your smartphone : goodbye waiting rooms !

Winter is there … who wouldn’t like to escape from these crowded and deadly dull wainting rooms in a doctor’s office, most of the time surrounded by sick people ? How many times did you dream of having a quick prescription while remaining home and why not at work ? Don’t worry, technology has heard your wishes !

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For some time, it is possible to find websites where you can ask questions to doctors and specialists but at present, technology has taken a step forward, again.

Indeed, you can find nowadays some downloadable apps on your smartphones which allow you to get a serious medical consultation thanks to your mobile.

In the United States especially, this phenomena grows every day. Recently, American Well, an american telehealth company since 2009, launched its app. Available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, doctors prone to answer every single questions and give a medical consultation with  medication’s prescription. The whole thing costs $49 for a 10 minutes consultation.

Doctor on Demand follows the same pattern with its own app launched on December 2013, downloadable on IOS and Google Play. This app costs $40 for a 15 minutes video consultation but doctors are only available from 7am to 11pm, in 15 states of the USA. The company takes $10 over the $40 paid by the patient, and the $30 left go to the physician.

The third on the market is Teladoc, also working on telehealth services. Phone or online video consult, a certified doctor or pediatrician licensed will contact you back after having reviewed your Electronic Health Record (EHR). Pricing depends on some conditions : membership, individual, family … An Interactive ROI Calculator is also available for organizations, added to a variety of benefits.

What do users think about this kind of unusual medical consultations ?

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Taking the example of Doctor on Demand’s users, the most recurring criticism is based on the restricted number of States where the service is available. We can add that some patients complain about the “so-called” availability of the doctors and the delivery of the prescription of medicines.

 

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Nevertheless, patients are quiet satisfied generally speaking, enphasizing the simplicity, the innovation and the convenience of this new kind of medical consultation.

 

Telehealth is dealing with a high-speed development and maybe we will soon see these applications turn up here. Let’s keep an (open) eye on it !

 

Mathilde FRAIN

Etudiante en Master 2 Commerce Electronique à l’Université de Strasbourg, adepte des nouvelles technologies et du monde numérique.

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