A doctor may be just a tap away - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

A doctor may be just a tap away

Bruce Sessions looks at the app from a cell phone. (Source: KLTV Staff) Bruce Sessions looks at the app from a cell phone. (Source: KLTV Staff)
One page from the Doctor on Demand app. (Source: KLTV Staff) One page from the Doctor on Demand app. (Source: KLTV Staff)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) - There are plenty of reasons people avoid going to the doctor, but a new app called Doctor on Demand allows users to video chat with a doctor without ever leaving their home. 

For just $40, you can visit with a doctor for 15 minutes via an app on your phone or on their website on your computer. With dozens of health care apps now available, it was only a matter of time before something like this came along, but an app like this may not completely replace your doctor visits.

From a park bench in Tyler, Bruce Sessions is able to see a doctor. He's never actually had to use the app, but said if a problem arose, he would try it.

“Maybe not a major one, but maybe if it was just something I have a few simple questions,” said Sessions. 

That's just what Dr. Aditi Joshi, a Doctor on Demand, said the app is best for.

“I can see them. I can look at how they're breathing and what their skin color's like, how they're speaking and you can actually get a lot of information by that,” said Joshi. 

First, you fill out your symptoms and some brief medical history. The doctors don't have access to your records, but the chat is HIPAA secure. Still, one local physician said there are obvious limitations.

“You have to be able to listen to their heart beat. Actually look in their throat see if it's strep throat. Do testing. Give injections. Do other things that we can't do when we're separated by hundreds or even thousands of miles,” said Dr. Renee McCarty, a Tyler doctor.

The app doctors only treat users, or patients, in states where they are licensed and they can't write certain prescriptions. Even they said there are times their only advice will be to walk in and sit down.

Dr Joshi said it's best used for questions or information if you're unsure if you should see a doctor.

“People who have colds or cough, medication refill, something that they are normally treated with by their doctor, but they just can't get in to see them,” Dr. Joshi said.

Information can be given, questions answered, but for some illnesses there is no replacement.

“It's not going to take the place of a relationship with your primary care provider, so it's very important that you have a medical home that you can go to when you're in need,” Dr. McCarty said.

“Course getting to see a doctor is not that easy anymore,” Sessions said.

Or is it? The app has doctors licensed in 46 states, Texas being the second largest in terms of users.

It is also a good option for your kids if they're afraid to go to the doctor and you want to check with a Doctor on Demand about whether or not you even need to go through the hassle.

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