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Americans face significant hurdles accessing the services that they need to address short-term maladies and long-term illnesses. Some smartphone apps are trying to make it easier for people to get the care that they need. Before you decide to use a health care app, you should learn more about their advantages and disadvantages.
Health Care Apps Can Help You Quickly
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, patients spend half an hour in ER waiting rooms and 90 minutes getting treated. In other words, you can expect to wait about two hours before you’re treated by a physician in an emergency room.
If you need a prescription, a doctor can remotely send the request to a pharmacy near you.
Apps Can Help Some People Save Money
The health care industry doesn’t use transparent pricing, so it’s often impossible for you to know how much a trip to the doctor, ER or urgent care center will cost.
Most health care apps have transparent prices that help you make informed decisions. For instance, Amwell charges $59 for an online doctor visit, while Doctor on Demand charges $75 for a 15-minute consultation with a medical doctor.
Depending on your health insurance policy, you may get even lower prices.
Health Care Apps Could Help Prevent Illness From Spreading
Going to your doctor’s office, local emergency room or urgent care center means that you will probably encounter other sick patients. Those patients could pass their illnesses on to you. Unless someone cleans the waiting area frequently, viruses and bacteria will accumulate and increase your risk of catching another sickness.
Since health care apps connect you with physicians over the internet, you never come into contact with patients who may spread their illnesses to you.
The Disadvantages of Health Care Apps
Health care apps offer a lot of benefits that can help you get the treatments you need quickly without spending a lot of money. Unfortunately, doctors may find it difficult to diagnose your condition without meeting you in person.
Online consultations also make it impossible for doctors to deliver certain types of treatments. If you show signs of having a heart attack, for instance, an online doctor will tell you to visit the ER immediately. When that happens, you end up paying for the virtual consultation and the ER visit.
Health care apps can benefit a lot of people, but they have their limitations. As long as you only use them to address common maladies, you should find them useful.