Doorstep Doctors Bring Back House Calls

"Heal" expands app service to San Diego

Generally you have to leave your home to see a doctor.  But the trend towards "on-demand" medical care is changing that

Heal, a smartphone app, is bringing the old school house call back, according the Renee Dua, a physician and founder of the house call program.

She got the idea when she and her husband were in a waiting room for more than an hour with their young son. Now they've expanded their house call service from San Francisco to San Diego.

"We are able to schedule on demand at your need," said Dua, "a visit from a doctor to your home, to your office or to your hotel room."

A doctor with an assistant can be scheduled for a visit in less than two hours with a cost of $99. Dua said they are accepting a number of PPO insurance plans, and their patients are equally divided between children and adults. But the doctors do have their limits.

"Heal is not an emergency room," said Dua. "We are not going to operate on you in your house."

But she said anything you can think of that can be done in the office setting can be done in the house setting too.

Dr. Elly Shahabi, who works for Heal, said patients seem much more relaxed when you visit them at home.

"They're not frustrated because they've been sitting in a waiting room for two hours before being seen," said Shahabi.

But where do they conduct most of their medical exams when they visit the home?

"A lot of time it's the living room," said Shahabi, "but I've had plenty of patient encounters where the patient is in bed and doesn't feel well, and that's the point of us coming out to them."

The on-demand health care trend is expanding across the country. In San Diego people can see nurses inside a Target store or CVS Pharmacy. Scripps Healthcare is expanding into office buildings. Expanding into house calls may be the next step in personal care.

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A California company named Heal wants to bring back the old school practice of doctor house calls. Using a phone app...

Posted by Consumer Bob on Monday, 25 January 2016
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