For tech-abled docs and patients, the ‘waiting room’ is turning into whatever room you happen to be in at the moment.
Doctor on Demand, a new service that allows patients to have a video visit with a physician, launched Tuesday in 15 U.S. states. Each video call, which can be made on iPhone, Android or tablet devices, costs the patient $40, which is on par with most traditional office co-pays. “We’re helping patients receive high-quality medical care without having to leave their homes or offices, therefore cutting down time, cost and worry,” said Adam Jackson, co-founder and CEO, Doctor On Demand.
Patients can use the service for non-emergent related issues such as:
- Common colds, fevers, coughs, sinus infections and allergies
- Upset stomach, urinary tract infections, muscle and sports injuries
- Pediatric colds, fever and vomiting or general questions for parents with a sick child
- Patients needing common prescriptions or an existing prescription refilled
Patients can even upload high resolution photos during the phone visit to allow the doctor to better see skin rashes or eye problems.
For those docs or patients who are still hesitant to use telemedicine applications, Doctor on Demand says it’s using a HIPAA-compliant cloud set up by Amazon Web Services for its technical infrastructure and has developed its own software to ensure high-quality chat sessions, according to Business Week.
The Doctor On Demand physician network has grown to 1,000 physicians nationally and is overseen by chief medical officer, Dr. Pat Basu, M.D., a former Stanford physician and White House Fellow. Physicians who participate in the network take home $30 for each phone visit. “Not only does this improve the lives of patients and doctors, but it can be one of the solutions for the cost, access and capacity issues that currently plague our health care system,” said Dr. Basu.
The service is not covered by insurance, but the company is working on that. In the meantime, as they said on the website, “We firmly believe that after you try Doctor On Demand for just $40, you’ll find that the time and money you saved by not going into the office is well worth the couple of extra dollars over the co-pay you would have to pay anyways. If you have a Health Savings Account, you can deduct this $40 from that plan.”
And what’s a start-up without star power? Doctor on Demand co-founder Jay McGraw is a reality TV producer and son of Dr. Phil (McGraw), who serves as an advisor to the company.
The service is available for immediate use in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington and is available for free download in the iTunes store or Google Play.