From diets to safe driving, there seems to be a tablet or smart phone app for just about everything you can imagine these days. But here's a question: Even in our age of insta-services, are you still waiting weeks to see your doctor?
You don't have to. In fact, it's possible to get care for yourself and your family right away, without having to set foot in a doctor's office or take off work to get there.
Healthcare has officially gone virtual, and there are several handy tools available on your smartphone or tablet to keep you and your family well and illness-free. Because let's face it: The average national wait time for primary care is 20 days, with 37 days to see a specialist, and sometimes you just don't have weeks or a full month to spare.
I work in the healthcare field, so I get the benefit of watching technology transform patients' lives every day. So which apps are my favorite for delivering virtual healthcare? Here are five great ones.
Full disclosure: I lead this company. AppVisit was founded based on the idea that we could use technology to bring more care to more people, and that's exactly what this app does. Once your doctor sets you up with the app, you can conduct a secure, HIPPA-compliant and clinical e-visit from anywhere, eliminating the need for in-person appointments. Often, the care administered, whether it's instructions on treatment or a call-in prescription, is a same-day turnaround.
HealthLoop provides you and your doctor a constant feedback loop on the care you're receiving. In the process, it keeps you both updated on your progress regarding healing and recovery, so that the next steps can be determined quickly and efficiently.
Using MD Live, you can make a secure video or phone appointment with a physician in MD Live's network. While it's not your doctor that you're visiting, it does offer voice-to-voice (and sometimes, face-to-face via video) access to a healthcare professional right away.
iTriage is a handy app that allows you to answer two of the most common medical questions: "What could be wrong?" and "where can I go?" This app allows you to check your symptoms, look up possible causes and treatments, determine appropriate action and locate nearby care options.
The Better app will allow you to access The Mayo Clinic’s knowledge bank and symptom checker at no cost. For a fee, your family can get 24/7 access to Better’s professional personal health care assistants and Mayo’s own nurses and other professionals.
Virtual healthcare truly is the future of medicine, and tools like the ones above make it possible to get the care you and your family needs fast. Stay healthy.
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