Health app re-envisions doctor appointments


Photo of app courtesy of Michael Cole

By Alyse Horn

In a fast paced and tech driven world, the phrase “Time is Money” remains an unfaltered expression.

With that mantra in mind, four individuals have created an app that combines old school in-home doctor’s visits with telecall appointments. Through the app, dubbed MyHouseCall, patients no longer have to spend time in a doctor’s office waiting room. Instead, they can have the doctor either come to their home or video call the doctor on a smart device. Physicians can then assess the illness and prescribe medication or offer treatment solutions for the patient.

Created by Michael and Eric Cole, Dr. Stephen Ritz, and Dr. Chris Fleissner, the app utilizes both physicians and nurse practitioners that are available between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. for house calls, and between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. for video calls.

Michael, a physician’s assistant who has worked in urgent care, primary care, and long term acute care, said the origin of the app stems from an ever changing society and “convenience becoming a premium service.”

Currently, the telecall is available for anyone in Pennsylvania, but only individuals in Allegheny County can utilize the in-home doctor’s visits. That app does not yet take health insurance, but hopes to once it gains traction and are able to scale up its platform. Right now, a doctor’s visit is priced at $99 and the $39 for a  telemedicine call.

Michael said, if a patient is experiencing severe chest or abdominal pain, or something similarly severe, they will be asked to call 911. The app was designed to cater to any “acute care issue,” such as rashes, colds, or allergies. He also said the app is popular with elderly folks in the area who may have trouble leaving the house for doctor’s appointments.

Those who download and register with the app can receive a $20 coupon for their first “doctor’s visit” for themselves by inviting friends. It can be downloaded via the Apple Store or Google Play.

Michael said he recommends downloading the app before feeling under the weather, that way when an issue arises; patients won’t have to deal with registering and will just have to submit their symptoms.
“People are rushed constantly throughout the day trying to get things done,” Michael said. “This app was created to keep up with the fast pace that daily lives have evolved into.”

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