Ron Gutman is on a mission to bring back the village doctor. But he’s going about it in a different way than we are. He runs a three-year-old startup called HealthTap. They offer an online service that replicates a house call. With his app, you can instantly connect with physicians via the net and ask them personal medical questions.
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BlueStar, a prescription-only smartphone app, is hitting the market this year. They’re banking on consumers who want to get medical advice directly from their phone. According to a Quartz article, the app was created by app-maker WellDoc and is the first to require a doctor’s prescription. Anyone can download the app but a prescription code provided by a pharmacy is required to use it. The cost varies by prescription, but is predicted to go much higher than $100 per month.
Since 2010 the app has been helping people with type 2 diabetes, by nudging them to check their blood sugar levels, reiterating tactics to moderate levels, and offering periodic advice. For instance, it might remind patients when to eat or commend them for tracking their glucose levels routinely.
A ZD Net post reports that during a fireside chat with AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher at the 2013 Data Driven Conference on Wednesday, PayPal co-founder Max Levchin described the inspiration behind his latest startup, Glow. Glow is a mobile app launched earlier this year that’s trying to improve fertility using “big data.” Right now, the app quite literally wants to help women get pregnant, which in such layman’s terms sounds like a parody. But Levchin is serious that this type of app can lead to better doctor-patient decision making, and ultimately trim wasted spending. He’s stated that the company’s goal is to expand into other niches in the healthcare field in order to accomplish this.
There’s some good news for EMR software. Box, a cloud storage and information-sharing platform used in many different industries, released a statement on Thursday, saying that they acquired an “ecosystem” of app companies and are actively expanding their healthcare offerings.
One of Box’s efforts is to create a downloadable Personal Health Record that aggregates multiple inputs. Basically they want consumers to carry around a digital medical file to take to different specialists. A few of the new companies they acquired focus on text transmission, so its presumed they want to help doctors text information more effectively, too—X-rays, notes, files and the like.