It’s an old-fashioned concept that many thought had gone away decades ago. The doctor who makes house calls. And for many years it did. However, slowly, in this age of Uber, DoorDash and subscription boxes that can see almost anything delivered to your door – from dog toys to ready meals – technology is bringing doctors who do house calls back to Atlanta.
Heal is an app based service that is currently trialing in a handful of cities nationwide, one of them being Atlanta. The idea is that, via the app, a patient can request a visit from a pediatrician, internist or family practice physician at their home or office and within two hours their request will be fulfilled. It really is like Uber for basic needs medical care. Take a look at it in action below:
Health Insurers Are On Board Already
Several major health insurers are on board too – with Aetna, United Healthcare, Cigna, Anthem Blue Cross and several other providers all now allowing Heal appointments as covered in network benefits in the same way they would had the patient gone to their doctor’s office.
The benefits of the service work for patients, medical providers and insurers alike. Patients love the convenience of the service – it’s available from 8am-8pm 365 days a year – and not only are the kinds of conditions you might normally visit an urgent care center or ER treatable – cuts, bruises, strains, sprains, various common infections – but also basic preventive and primary care. Still need to get a flu shot? You can arrange for an evening housecall so that everyone can get one at the same time.
The program is also designed to reduce healthcare costs and relieve the strain on already overworked emergency rooms. Heal is also working with employers to bring onsite preventative healthcare to the workplace. As a healthy employee is a more productive employee – not to mention a happier one – the idea is catching on with them as well.
The Future Looks Bright for Tech in Medicine
As a service, Heal has only been operating in Atlanta since mid January of 2019. However, if its prior performance in California and Washington DC is anything to go by things are looking good. The company has provided 100,000 house and office calls across California and the Washington, D.C. area in less than four years, reducing unnecessary Emergency Room and Urgent Care visits by up to 71 percent and generating more than $62 million in healthcare cost savings.
Everyone knows that healthcare is being changed by technology every day. The Heal app however also demonstrates how the way we make use of that technology will shape it too. From services like this to the ongoing increase in the use of telemedicine and the rise of chatbots that can answer basic health queries it is exciting to see just where this will all lead.