Amidst COVID-19, many aspects of life that could be considered as 'normal' are being flipped upside down, and the healthcare industry is no exception. With hospitals becoming impacted on a global scale, there is a clear need for alternative options where care can still be provided. When it comes to those affected or even those taking preventative measures towards the growing pandemic, it is no wonder why people are beginning to turn to healthcare apps or telemedicine services for better support. According to the CDC or Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it is advised under “What To Do if You Are Sick” to stay in touch with your doctor and call ahead to make an appointment before receiving any medical care. It is also important to get care as needed if any symptoms get worse or if it becomes an emergency.
With increased digital connectivity, there are so many useful resources at our fingertips - telemedicine services or apps could be a great way to receive real medical feedback in a matter of minutes. As of 2019, over 81% of the Americans own a smartphone, and healthcare services can be easily given through apps - which is both easy and affordable.
“According to the Pew Research Center, 96% of Americans own some type of cell phone. As of February 2019, 81% owned smartphones”(Terence Mills).
Connecting with various health professionals in the medical field just got a lot easier with this app. Made for both iOS and Android, this app offers both fast and easy access to a doctor for non-emergency issues when you just can't go and see your primary care physician. One of the most reliable parts of this app is direct consulting with the doctor 24/7 by phone or video, whenever there is a problem. The app is free to download, and you can get connected with a doctor in just about 15 minutes. If you plan on needing their assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic, MDLIVE has released a statement on their website stating that “[they] are experiencing longer than normal wait times due to the COVID-19 pandemic”, allowing their consumers to understand the demand for their telemedicine services at this time.
2. PlushCare: Video Doctor Visits
This app allows for their consumers to receive treatments as well as prescriptions for some ongoing and non-emergency health conditions. It is available for both iOS and Android users and you can schedule an appointment through the app as well as get health insurance information. Although their website states that "[they] will accept your insurance co-pay or deductible if you do have health insurance. Otherwise, our non-insurance visit cost is just $99.00 flat fee + our monthly membership fee”.
3. Doctor on Demand
Providers on this app are licensed, board-certified, and based out of the United States. Available for both iOS and Android and free to download, Doctors on Demand will work with or without your health insurance and will let you know the costs upfront. On the Doctor on Demand site, it is made clear that "it's free to sign up and your visit price is always shown upfront – with no surprise bills later. They work with many major insurance plans and employers to offer even easier access"(Doctor on Demand). Their doctors are available 24/7, and some appointments can be scheduled for urgent care needs, behavioral health, preventive health, and chronic care.
4. Talkspace Online Therapy
A great option for helping improve your mental health, this easy and affordable app uses a subscription-based program for anyone age 13, and up to receive the care they may need. Starting at only $65 a week, this application is available for both iOS and Android and is free to download straight from your app store of choice. On the Talkspace website, it states that their mission is “to provide more people with convenient access to licensed therapists who can help those in need live a happier and healthier life”. During a global crisis such as COVID-19, it is crucial to take care of your physical wellbeing in conjunction with your mental health. This app is a great option to make sure you are getting the help you may need while still practicing safe social distancing or self-quarantine.
5. Lemonaid Health: online doctor
If you are looking for something convenient and affordable, this app could be the perfect match for you. Their services start at just $25 for a consultation, and they also offer delivery from the 'Lemonaid Pharmacy', which is also free shipping. This app is available for both iOS and Android users and is free to download. The best part? Their main goal is to help anyone, and everyone has access to healthcare. On the Lemonaid official site, it states that “[they] want to make primary care so affordable and accessible that everyone can get great care when they need it, regardless of insurance”.
Whether you have questions about your health, or having health issues, or are just looking to stay on a healthy track in your busy life, healthcare/telemedicine apps could be perfect for you. Especially during a period of time packed with so much uncertainty, it a big relieve to have healthcare options right at your fingertips!