What if you could receive medical advice from your physicians without having to step foot into their office? On average, patients wait between 10 and thirty minutes to be seen by a physician and once inside the room, typically spend a mere eight minutes face-to-face with his or her doctor. Well, some doctors have turned entrepreneur and now work hand-in-hand with smart phone apps.
There’s a new technology emerging that has patients gaining easy access to physicians in under five minutes with answers to their medical questions. Thus far, hundreds of doctors in numerous specialties have started using these apps that simplify the physician-patient communication process.
So, what are these apps that are currently saving patients a lot of money and time?
Well, there isn’t just one in particular, here’s a list of some of the most popular medical apps on the rise and their highlighted features:
- PingMD-created by Dr. Gopal Chopra, a neurosurgeon. PingMD is a free medical messaging app that allows patients to send picture messages, videos, and texts to communicate with medical professionals quickly and easily. Shortly after the patient sends in their medical issue, a physician will be able to respond with what steps they should take next.
- CellScope-this unique app places a medical tool in the hands of the consumers. CellScope Oto, combines the features of an app that send photos to physicians while also allowing patients to attach an otoscope to their phone’s camera. Co-founder Erik Douglas created CellScope as a result of the many cases of ear infections filling medical offices. He believed the app would help to eliminate unnecessary trips, and that it did.
- AliveCor- this app is very similar to CellScope, however it allows users to record and send physicians their heart rhythms. AliveCor app uses real-time personalized analytics to help people to understand the ECG data they receive. This nifty app-and-attachment allows patients to send you instant heart monitoring records so that you are able to analyze it quickly and give them feedback!
- First Opinion- this app allows patients to text a doctor for free. It also guarantees that they will receive an answer 24/7 in nine minutes or less. How First Opinion works is, it matches users up with one doctor, so they don’t have to start over fresh each time they use the app. First Opinion has assembled a team of doctors ready to answer patients’ requests, all users need to do is send their physician a message with their question and they will receive a response within ten minutes. It’s a truly next generation doctor experience.
Could these apps jeopardize the future of face-to-face medical appointments?
These apps show how the future of medical tools and advice could be significantly altered with a click of a button. What will happen if the time comes when these apps have grown and adjusted to be able to completely control the medical tools used during check up and getting in touch with physicians?
Although very possible, I wouldn’t go around fearing for the future of your positions just yet! At this point in time, these apps are very helpful in saving both physicians and patients’ times with follow-ups. They are not developed enough to be able to provide doctors with enough information as to where they can determine a diagnosis. Ways down the road apps and devices such as those listed above may become more disruptive and controversial in the medical industry but for now they seem to be saving both ends of the spectrum time and money!