There are apps for virtually everything now, from shopping to financial investments to avoiding traffic jams. Another industry is turning to apps; the medical industry.
One San Diego medical clinic has added its name to the list of Telehealth providers. The Perlman Clinic based out of La Jolla has launched a new app called PocketDoc that allows patients to make virtual doctor visits simply by logging on to the app.
“It’s for the person that can’t leave work or are just not feeling up to leaving the house,” said PocketDoc founder Dr. Monica Perlman. “They may be traveling and need to connect with a medical provider.”
Perlman and the Perlman Clinic, which has several locations throughout San Diego County, launched the app on October 23.
The app, she said, offers not only convenience but provides affordable options for the uninsured as well as the insured.
“You don’t need insurance, all you need is $30 and the app in order for you to connect,” said Perlman. “Whether you have an upper respiratory infection, a rash, or a urinary tract infection, our doctors can treat any common medical issue on the app. We also send orders to the lab so patients can drop off samples without having to head into a doctor’s office beforehand.”
Perlman said anyone with a phone and the app can call, that you do not have to be a patient in order to see a doctor and thus far about 75 percent of the calls have been treated without the need for an office visit.
According to an article in Consumer Reports, Telehealth is a growing industry. Recent studies show that similar medical apps can save time and energy for those with common ailments. However, the convenience can come at some cost. While seeing a doctor through the PocketDoc app costs only $30 dollars, studies show the convenience can come at a cost in that more people may turn to the app for minor medical issues ones that usually would not warrant an office visit.
“I think this is just going to explode, especially with the senior population,” said Perlman. “We’ve had success treating both existing and new patients through PocketDoc. Most of the patients have been located in San Diego, but we are starting to see some visits from patients throughout California.”