Too sick to get out? See the doc on your phone

With apps like Doctor on Demand, house calls are making a high-tech comeback.

Posted: Feb. 23, 2018 1:17 PM

We've all been there: Too sick to get out of bed to see a doctor or not sick enough to risk getting infected by really sick people in the waiting room.

In flu-season you probably know what you need but in order to get a prescription for TamiFlu, you have to see a doctor so they'll write the prescription.

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine was so sick she couldn't get out of bed. She knew it was the flu and she knew she needed medicine, but it was a Sunday morning and she was not going to go to the emergency room.

Enter a house-call app. The one I recommended she try was Doctor on Demand. The premise is simple; the doctor does a FaceTime call, determines what you probably have and writes a prescription.

The exam includes tilting your phone's camera toward your nose so they can see inside and then down your throat. Open wide and say ahh for some people will be 'say wow' because this is pretty cool.

You'll need to provide the doctor with some vitals such as your temperature and they'll ask for you to check pressure on your face and pain near your temple. They'll also ask lots of questions and survey charts of what is going around where you live. If it's something like the flu or sinus infection the doctor will write a prescription and call it in to your pharmacy.

It's a time-saver. My friend downloaded the app, created an account, entered credit card and insurance information, requested a doctor, completed the exam and had the prescription called in all in about 45 minutes. Plus, remember this was a Sunday morning.

The Doctor on Demand doctor told me if they determine it's something more serious or if it's something that needs attention right away, they'll urge you to see your doctor in his or her office. They've been able to diagnose serious issues such as pancreatitis.

The doctors must be licensed in the state you live in. They don't keep regular hours but see patients between their own doctor's office hours or on weekends.

It's a time-saver and if you are really really sick, it'll feel more like a life-saver.

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