You can have everything from a pizza to a personal driver delivered by tapping a few keys on your phone—why not a doctor?
Given the primary care physician shortage America is facing, the medical industry has needed to be a bit more creative about how to get people the care they need. While urgent cares, retail clinics, and concierge doctors are all providing alternatives to the traditional model of visiting a physician’s office or heading straight to the emergency room, Heal app—hailed as “Uber for doctor house calls“—is now providing patients with access to quick care from the comfort of their homes.
“There is a strong need for a service like Heal, because, simply put, healthcare in America is broken, leading to millions of people not receiving the ongoing treatment they need for their overall health and wellness,” says Heal CEO and cofounder Nick Desai. “The easy, effective and timely access to high-quality, primary, preventive and urgent care that Heal provides is the foundation of a new system where we lower healthcare costs and improve patient outcomes.”
The app first launched in California, and expanded to its second market, Washington, DC, on June 1, adding Inova’s Dr. Kari Scantlebury as its East Coast medical director. After registering on the app, patients can request a licensed primary care physician, pediatrician, general practice, or internal medicine doctor to meet them where they’re at, arriving within two hours of the request. With Heal, the doctors are always in; they’re available from 8 AM to 8 PM every day of the week, and according to Desai, have over 30 minutes to spend with each patient. The house call costs a flat $99 fee—there are no membership fees associated with the app—and the company plans to add an insurance payment plan, like they have in California, to the DC network soon.
Though this is just the beginning of Heal’s national expansion, Desai is predicting that more of the medical world will be heading in the direction of house calls, disrupting the current system in which it can take weeks to see a doctor.
“Using innovative technology to cut bureaucracy, paperwork and wasted time, we have untethered high-quality medical care from the trappings of a building for the first time, making access to quality healthcare on-demand, transparent and affordable,” says Desai. “Our goal is to be your family doctor, in your family room or wherever you are.”