6 Platforms for On-Demand Doctor House Calls
Many of the most successful on-demand startups have gained traction by positioning themselves as the providers of “premium” goods and services, and by convincing consumers that convenience is worth a higher price. Why hail a taxi when you could travel in an Uber town car? Why clean a house yourself when you could hire a professional for the job? Now, with patients waiting an average of 19 days just to see their family physicians, a new crop of hyperlocal startups is hoping consumers will pay more for a luxury healthcare experience.
Using location-based mobile technology, vendors are modernizing the concept of physician house calls. For a price, consumers in most metropolitan areas can order up a doctor just like they would a pizza. Here are six examples of platforms that consumers can use to bypass waiting rooms and bring healthcare providers straight to their doorsteps.
1. Pager: Get a doctor at your door within two hours.
Timeliness is a major part of Pager’s value proposition. Consumers who order a physician through Pager’s mobile app can get a doctor at their door within just two hours. Physicians call to assess the patient before arriving in person, and they follow-up via call or message the day after the appointment, as well. Pager’s physicians are board-certified emergency medicine specialists, and they are able to prescribe medications on the spot. For this service, Pager charges $50 for first-time patients with urgent needs. Regular urgent care visits (including on-site testing, treatments, sutures, and a first dose of most prescriptions) cost $200, and physicals cost $100. Pager is available in New York City.
2. Curbside Care: Connect immediately with a physician or nurse.
Depending on their symptoms, consumers who use Curbside Care have the option to connect with an off-shift physician or nurse practitioner. Using Curbside Care’s mobile app, consumers can request an appointment and select the location where they’d like to meet their healthcare provider. Curbside Care’s providers are able to treat an array of conditions, including common illnesses, ear infections, and pink eye, along with sports injuries and some mental health issues. Curbside Care’s providers also handle travel medicine. Curbside Care is available in Philadelphia. The cost to meet with a nurse practitioner is $99, and the cost to meet with an M.D. or D.O. is $199.
3. Heal: Find a primary care provider who makes house calls.
Like its competitors, Heal encourages its users to order a physician when they’re sick or when they’re well (for physicians and well-baby exams). But, the company also allows consumers to transfer their medical records to make Heal’s physicians their primary care providers. Heal connects its users with licensed, background-checked physicians in the fields of pediatrics, general practice, internal medicine, and family medicine. Doctors and nurses arrive at a patient’s door within 60 minutes between the hours of 8am and 8pm. Doctors are provided through Heal A-Home Medical, which is an independent medical practice. Heal charges a $99 flat fee for each visit, and it’s available in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The company does not yet accept insurance, however it plans to in the future.
4. Dose: Skip the waiting room in urgent situations.
Dose is aiming to differentiate itself from other doctors-on-demand apps by emphasizing its ability to help in urgent situations, along with providing consumers with the ability to schedule physicals and checkups in their own homes. The house call service allows users bring board-certified adult and family nurse practitioners (supervised by collaborating physicians) to their doorsteps. Dose’s providers can treat anything from burns, sprains, and common illnesses, to wounds requiring suturing and even dehydration. For a $39 monthly subscription, Dose offers unlimited in-home visits. Regular visits cost $99, and after-hours visits cost $129. Dose is available in Nashville, Tennessee.
5. Go2Nurse: Get unlimited care from an in-home provider.
Go2Nurse encourages families to sign up for plans that include unlimited in-home care by CNAs, LPNs, RNs, and APNs. (Coverage with a family plan extends to first-degree relatives.) Services run the gamut from prenatal care and post-surgical care, all the way to senior care and Parkinson’s care. Patients can also request wheelchair-accessible vehicles. Go2Nurse users schedule nurses through an online form. Patients can chat with providers through Go2Nurse’s mobile app. The company had more than 225 registered nurses using its platform, as of March 2015. Pricing starts at $29.99 per hour. Memberships are free for six months. Go2Nurse is available in Midwest cities like Chicago and Milwaukee.
6. Medicast: Logistical support for hospitals and health systems.
Developed for hospitals and health systems, Medicast is a logistics and management platform for the delivery of on-demand healthcare. The white-label solution provides medical practices with consumer apps and scheduling systems that they can use to manage in-home care delivery. These apps can be integrated into existing electronic medical records systems. Care coordinators can also use Medicast to track their own clinicians in the field in real-time. Providers can accept or decline visits, add notes, call patients, and bill from within Medicast’s mobile platform. Hospitals and health systems can contact Medicast for specific pricing information.
Know of other doctors-on-demand apps? Leave a description in the comments.
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.