The traditional way of getting a doctor to diagnose an illness is that the patient has to visit the hospital or the clinic. With advances made in technology this may soon change as patients can be diagnosed anywhere as long as they have a mobile device with an app called Doctor On Demand.
Doctor On Demand is available for Android and iOS users and lets them video chat with U.S. certified doctors using their smartphones or tablets. This isn’t free though as a 15 minute conversation will cost $40. The doctors will be able to make a diagnosis on the issue, prescribe simple medication, advice on what steps to take, and even alleviate patient’s fears. The best part of this is that there is no waiting in crowded offices involved.
Doctor On Demand was able to raise $3 million in funding this year from investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, and Venrock. The system has partnered with 1,000 doctors across the United States. The app is currently available for use in 15 states including California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Texas.
Adam Jackson, Doctor on Demand’s co-founder and chief executive officer, said that “There are 1.2 billion ambulatory care visits every year, and the vast majority of people are walking in for something like colds or urinary tract infections that are very amenable to an initial consult over video.”
This isn’t the first time that this system has been made available as last October American Well was launched that provided virtual doctors for a $49 fee and is available in 49 states.
While there may potentially be a big audience for this kind of business not everyone is comfortable talking with a doctor over video chat. A survey conducted this year shows that only 52% of respondents said that they were willing to consult a doctor over video chat. The issue on privacy and security over using mobile apps bothered 35% of the respondents while 31% said that the app is not recommended for serious health issues.