Healthcare Technology Featured Article

August 01, 2014

HealthTap Prime Expands Telemedicine Services


You wake up one morning with a headache for apparently no reason, so before you go into work, you skim the Internet to see what might be behind it. You realize all too quickly this was a mistake—do you have a brain tumor? Cancer? A hemorrhage? You have a strange offshoot of a terrible disease! You’re going to die without treatment! What do you do? In reality, your symptoms probably aren’t that bad, but the Internet can be pretty medically misleading. Luckily, there is an option that has answers you can trust.

HealthTap was launched by Ron Gutman as a trusted alternative to the disarming array of medical information on the Internet. Users of the platform can get their health questions answered by established healthcare professionals. It has grown exponentially since its humble 2010 takeoff, now serving 100 million people with some 1.9 billion doctor answers. Now with HealthTap Prime, subscribers will pay $99 per month (plus $10 per additional family member) for unlimited access to videoconferences with doctors.

According to a report by Wired.com, HealthTap Prime is one of those sophisticated options—posed to challenge widely-known services such as WebMD, Prime will follow the patient from his initial question to a possible diagnosis or prescription. Anyone can access HealthTap’s database of doctor answers, but only subscribers can pose follow-up questions and build a personalized news feed of doctor-approved articles and interest-worthy answers. What’s more, videoconference services are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week for subscribers; patients can send photos or documents through the platform, and doctors can access patients’ health records in real time.

Telemedicine is growing into an industry to be reckoned with. It made $240 million overall in 2013, but that number is expected to skyrocket to $1.9 billion by 2018. Part of its appeal lies in its ability to reduce extraneous doctor visits, thus cutting down on patient costs and offering added convenience. As services get more sophisticated, the option grows more appealing to the average patient.

With healthcare costs rising, services such as HealthTap Prime might be in a position to allure high numbers of patients, as its service would be cheaper per month than some insurance plans. Society may not yet be at a general level of comfort to choose telemedicine over traditional in-person doctor visits; but in time, it might be a reliable alternative to the Internet’s fear-inducing diagnoses.




Edited by Adam Brandt





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