Doctors making 'house calls' via app

Doctors making 'house calls' via app

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Even when it's a simple stomach ache, many of us look to the web for answers. Now, a licensed doctor can diagnose patients through the online service called HealthTap.

The doctors are available on any mobile device, such as an iPhone, an Android device, an iPad, or other tablets or wearable computer, according to Ron Gutman, the founder and CEO. He started the network four years ago.

Patients have been able to type in questions and get answers for free from 62,000 doctors. But now, patients can have live video conferences with doctors for $99 a month, plus $10 for every additional family member.

"HealthTap doctors can prescribe medications if they deem it appropriate, and when they do you can get your medication in minutes available in the local pharmacy just down the street," Gutman said.

But Dr. Natalie Azar, an assistant clinical professor of medicine at NYU, said not seeing a doctor in person could have some serious risks.

"For the average person having a virtual doctor is not an appropriate substitute for having a real physician," she said. "Reaching out to a physician who doesn't know you with a question could lead to serious medical error."

So this could be the new way to connect with your physician, but it may not replace the traditional doctor's office visits. So the question is, will consumers use it?

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