Mobile Future

Healthcare Innovation: The Bright Future of Telemedicine

What an awesome world that we live in. We can now consult a physician without leaving the comfort of our bed or putting aside our cup of chicken noodle soup– thanks to smartphone apps such as Health4Me and Doctor On Demand.

The way it works: You download the app from a desktop, smartphone or tablet and are then easily connected to a physician within seconds. With Doctor On Demand for example, you pay a $40 fee for each visit with no hidden costs or subscriptions.

Since late May, customers at four Wegmans Food Markets can access Doctor On Demand. The highly-rated retail telemedicine service provider is now available at select store locations in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia through iPads set up in the pharmacy.

In addition, Walgreens announced last week that they are partnering with MDLive to introduce a similar mobile platform to as many as 25 states by the end of the year. The first of states to see this smartphone app pilot include California, Michigan, Illinois, Colorado, and Washington.

Earlier this year, UnitedHealthcare shared that they are expanding coverage options for telemedicine through the Health4Me app in 47 states and Washington, D.C.  Since UnitedHealthcare is the largest health insurance provider in the country, this move will increase the number of U.S. citizens that can access digital health services from one million this year to an estimated 20 million by 2016.

Digital health apps allow citizens to get the care that they need from wherever they are located, saving time and money in the process.  The continued growth of telemedicine services illustrates the need for ongoing dedication to innovative, high-tech solutions in healthcare.