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6 minutes read

How On-Demand Health Care is Bringing a Resurgence of House Calls

By Robert Kazmi
By Robert Kazmi
6 minutes read

Consumer trends have grown rapidly with technology over the past few years. The modern-day consumer takes their smartphone with them through all stages of the buyer’s journey and one of the key things they look for is on-demand functionality from the businesses they vet.

With corporate giants like Uber and GrubHub offering on-demand services, why should health care and medtech be any different?

The rise in the number of businesses that are available on-demand has led to the expectation that consumers can get what they want when they want it. This phenomenon has led to a surge of on-demand health care companies. With many of these apps, doctors are making house calls just like they did in “the old days.” Moreover, patients can book appointments with their smartphones and quickly view doctor reviews and ratings. Pair this with the fact that patients can usually get a doctor to their house quicker than they can see a doctor in an office, and we have a new trend on our hands.

Let’s explore this trend and how it affects your medtech or health care business.

Popular On-Demand Health Care Apps

Most on-demand health care apps take insurance plans, so, the cost is even lower than a visit to the doctor’s office, plus, they give patients the luxury of staying in their own homes when they are sick.

Doctor on Demand: This app is full of board-certified doctors and psychiatrists who offer in-home care including urgent care, behavioral health, preventative health, and chronic care. They are a nationwide service and accept patients with or without insurance.

American Well: This service connects patients with doctors and enables them to do video call appointments for non-emergency services instead of patients having to go into a doctor office when they are sick.

Teladoc: Teladoc has over 20 million members and allows patients to speak with a doctor over the phone or through their app within minutes. They are available 24/7 and strive to meet a patient’s needs where and when they need a doctor.

Solv: Solv allows patients to search for urgent care appointments and make an appointment the same day. They even allow patients to upload their insurance cards to get an overview of the treatments that are covered by their insurance company so that there are no surprises when they go to their appointment.

Heal: Heal is another app that connects patients with doctors who do house calls. They boast affordable costs and cite the lack of overhead from keeping up with a physical doctor’s office as the reason they can offer health care at such low rates.

Luna: Luna connects patients with physical therapists so that they can receive physical therapy in the comfort of their own homes. With Luna, physical therapists get freedom and flexibility with their schedules while patients get convenience from in-home appointments.

Talkspace: This app connects patients and licensed therapists so patients can receive counseling from the comfort of their own homes. Talkspace provides an assessment and matches patients with a licensed therapist from as low as $49/month. Patients can message their therapist a few times a day allowing them to receive advice when they need it outside of an office setting.

Zipdrug:Zipdrug is the “GrubHub for prescription drugs.” With this app, consumers can have their prescriptions filled delivered to their homes allowing them to skip the long lines at their local pharmacy.

Benefits of On-Demand Health Care Apps

On-demand health care apps have many benefits that explain why they are quickly gaining traction in the marketplace. Some of these benefits include:

  • Simplicity: They make it simple for patients to reach out to and schedule doctor appointments that fit in with their busy schedules.
  • Convenience: Patients can receive care in their own homes and skip the long wait at the doctor office.
  • Job opportunities: On-Demand apps cater to busy schedules and allow doctors to create their own hours and offer flexibility with their schedules.
  • Cost: Doctors can get rid of the overhead costs of running an office and these costs get passed down to the patient resulting in the fact that in-home visits are more affordable than office visits. A quick glance shows that an in-home doctor visit averages at about $75 while an urgent care visit to a clinic averages about $150. This cost is particularly attractive to patients who are uninsured.
  • Transparency: On-demand apps offer an instant and clear overview of what an appointment will cost so there are no surprises later.

The Future of On-Demand Health Care Apps

With the rising popularity of on-demand apps for health care, we expect the marketplace to continue to grow. To meet consumer needs, we expect existing health care companies to add an on-demand component to what they offer in order to keep up with what patients want.

Aside from transportation, health care is the fastest growing on-demand vertical when we look at the top funded companies. This means that there is a lot of room to grow a new or existing idea for an on-demand health care app.

In 2016, 2 of the top 10 On-Demand companies were health care apps. TelaDoc secured $245 million in funding while American Well secured $141 million.

Wrapping it Up

On-demand health care services are here to stay so if you have a new idea or want to incorporate on-demand functionality into your existing business model, there is a lot of revenue to be generated.

While the idea of doctors making house calls used to be an old-fashioned idea, consumer expectations are bringing back this trend. With consumers being so on-demand oriented, health care businesses need to adapt this business model to meet with their patient needs.

If you have an idea for an on-demand health care app or envision a way on how to add on-demand health care functionality to an existing business, there is plenty of room in the marketplace for your big idea.

Are you interested in creating a health care on-demand app? Check out some of our work and let us know if you would like to discuss your idea!

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