Silicon Valley is trying to revolutionize the way Americans get medical care by bringing doctors directly to your phone, but another fast-growing trend is also reminiscent of the old-fashioned doctor house calls.
Several startups are promising to deliver a doctor to you usually within the next hour or two, the same way Uber is bringing you a chauffeured car within minutes of ordering it on your smartphone.
These apps aren’t really revolutionizing health care, but rather consider them as additional options when the wait at your usual doctor is too long or when he or she isn’t available at all. Also, keep in mind that visits from doctors through these apps aren’t typically covered by your health insurance.
Here are five apps that deliver a doctor to you:
Where: Los Angeles, San Francisco
How Much: $99 a visit
Promise: Anytime between 8a.m. and 8p.m., seven days a week, you can order a doctor, who should come to you within 60 minutes.
Where: New York City, Manhattan and Brooklyn only
How Much: $50 for the first visit, $200 afterwards
Promise: A doctor is available everyday from 8a.m. to 10p.m within a couple of hours.
Where: Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, California
How Much: $39 per month for two visits spread over 12 months, or $75 per month for four visits spread over 12 months, or $249 for a one-time visit with a $100 surcharge for nights and weekends.
Promise: You can request a physician 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The doctor will come within two hours of the request.
Where: Philadelphia and Boston
How Much: $99 for a nurse practitioner or $199 for a medical doctor.
Promise: The company doesn’t make any promise on a doctor’s travel time but lets the practitioner communicate with the patient in that regard.
Where: North Carolina
How Much: Doctors Making Housecalls accepts and is in network with most private and commercial insurers, including Medicare, but it also charges $95 to compensate physicians for their travel time.
Promise: The company offers same-day or next-day service, seven days a week.