“Best mHealth Apps for Patients: Doctor-on-Demand”
SteelKiwi has a lot of experience developing medical mobile applications. eHealth is an area that has seen a great deal of investment over the last couple of years, with medical e-products popping up left and right. To make sense of this growing market, we’ll be publishing a series of articles featuring top-notch medical mobile applications across a number of categories.
This article, the first in our series of mobile healthcare product reviews, focuses on doctor-on-demand type applications.
Doctor-on-demand apps let users contact medical professionals anywhere and at any time via text or video chat through their smartphones. These apps save time otherwise spent getting to the hospital or doctor’s office and waiting in line and generally make healthcare more affordable.
There are two types of doctor-on-demand apps: online hospitals and medical chat platforms. The first type focuses on offering the advice of medical professionals, the second on offering a space for communication. In this article, we’ll cover five applications of both types in no particular order. These are just the apps that we found to be the most popular.
Dr Now is a UK-based online hospital app that connects patients with qualified general practitioners through remote video consultations. It’s not meant to substitute for a real office visit but rather to help in situations when you feel unwell but not bad enough to actually visit a doctor in person. Dr Now is about preventive measures, medication delivery, paperwork, and quick answers at convenient hours.
With Dr Now, you can stay healthy for less time and money. Patients can choose the doctor they would like to speak to and can be sure that no matter who they choose, an MRCGP certified professional will help them figure things out.
With Dr Now, general practitioners can:
- Review symptoms
- Offer clinical advice
- Write medicine prescriptions with several delivery options
- Write referrals to specialists
- Write doctor’s notes
With Dr Now, general practitioners can’t:
- Provide physical treatments and examinations
- Perform emergency treatments (for chest pain, severe bleeding, suspected stroke, bone fractures, etc.)
- Offer lIfestyle surgeries, oral surgeries or other kinds of alternative therapies
- Repeat medicine prescriptions
- Give vaccinations
Key features of Dr Now: multi-platform, confidential, medicine delivery
Multi-platform support is an important feature of Dr Now. It offers mobile apps for iOS and Android, and an Apple Watch app is coming soon.
Confidentiality in Dr Now is ensured with Amazon Web Services’ security system, which offers industry-standard AES-256 encryption. You can be sure that whatever information you share with your doctor is going to be safe.
Medicine delivery is a special Dr Now feature that helps you avoid spending time at pharmacies. Dr Now offers next-day delivery of prescriptions that you receive via an online consultation with one of their general practitioners. Prescriptions can be delivered directly to your home or office or to any UK pharmacy.
Pricing in Dr Now is simple and transparent. An adult subscription costs £7.99/month and offers unlimited general practitioner appointments to patients over 16 years of age. For children, a subscription is £4.99/month. Adults can add children and other adults to their accounts, but each person over 16 years old has their own private login credentials. The perconsultation fee is £42.50, and is meant for those who are only looking for a one-time consultation with a general practitioner. The Dr Now application itself if free to download from the App Store and Google Play Store.
MeMD provides online medical consultations with physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants in the US. Specialists consulting on MeMD can write medical prescriptions as permitted by state law. Medicine prescribed via MeMD can be picked up at a local participating pharmacy. MeMD also offers real-time video examinations and 24/7 access and helps you locate a participating pharmacy nearby.
It’s important to remember that MeMD is not a replacement for a primary care physician or an annual doctor’s office visit. Their services are meant to save time when dealing with minor health concerns; instead of waiting in the ER or clinic, patients can contact a MeMD provider and get their questions answered almost immediately.
There’s an extensive yet limited list of medical conditions that MeMD providers can evaluate:
Another set of services provided by MeMD deals with mental and behavioral health issues. In particular, specialists can address:
The cost of MeMD is a flat fee of $57.95 per consultation, with no hidden costs. The mobile app itself is free to download from the App Store and Google Play Store.
Medici is a US-based HIPAA-compliant mobile application that connects patients and doctors through text and video chat. What separates Medici from other mobile applications of this type is that it’s more of a platform than an online hospital. Medici lets you talk to your own doctors – the people you already know and trust. Just ask your doctor to download the doctor app and set up consultations when it’s convenient for the both of you.
With Medici, you can create your own network of medical providers, uniting family doctors, dentists, veterinarians, therapists, and others within the same mobile application. Providers can answer your questions, help you understand symptoms, and write medical prescriptions at any time without having to see you in person.
A special Medici highlight is that there are no in-app limitations to the types of services that caregivers can provide. Your providers are the ones who decide on consultation fees and work hours, but because you already know them, you can agree on availability and terms on an individual basis.
PingMD is another US-based HIPAA-compliant medical application that lets patients communicate with doctors. However, its specialty isn’t providing video consultations (this option is altogether absent) but rather in offering a secure platform for sharing and discussing medical information.
PingMD allows doctors to communicate with their colleagues and patients at the same time. Imagine a WhatsApp that lets you share the most sensitive information about your health in the most secure way possible – that’s PingMD.
Information shared in PingMD can then be directly transferred to an electronic system of medical records. The PingMD application is free of charge. However, if you’re looking to integrate the service with your practice, you should contact the PingMD team and ask them to provide you with terms and conditions relevant for your needs.
Doctor on Demand is a US-based online video chatting application that connects patients and doctors. However, the idea with this app isn’t about immediate consultations; instead, patients can book appointments and then meet with professionals online in a matter of days. Doctors are also qualified to write prescriptions.
Doctor on Demand offers a wide variety of medical and mental health services.
When it comes to medical services, the platform offers help with some urgent care issues, chronic conditions, women’s and men’s health, lab testings, screenings, preventive medicine, prescriptions, and basic medical advice.
However, they do not offer help with brain or spinal cord injuries, chest pain and numbness, vomiting or coughing blood, lacerations, multiple broken bones, severe burns, or pediatric ear infections. Apart from that, Doctor on Demand professionals cannot write prescriptions for controlled substances like codeine and oxycodone.
In the field of mental health, doctors working through Doctor on Demand can deal with such issues as depression, mood swings, trauma, loss, stress, anxiety, and medication management. However, they are not a measure in times of crisis and emergency and cannot prescribe DEA controlled substances, including stimulants and benzodiazepines.
The pricing for Doctor on Demand is rather simple, with ordinary medical consultations costing a flat fee of $75, therapy sessions starting at $79, and psychiatry weighing in at $229 for the initial visit. What’s special about Doctor on Demand is that they work with many major insurance companies and offer large company employee discounts. The application itself is free for download from the App Store and Google Play Store.
If you want to create a medical hospital like Dr Now, MeMD, or Doctor on Demand, or if you want to build a medical communication platform like Medici or PingMD, we would be more than happy to help.
To start, you only need to contact one of our sales representatives and we’ll gladly handle things from there.