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HealthTap Puts a Doctor On Your Smartphone, Helps You Find a Good One to See In Person
iOS/Android/Web: The last time we mentioned HealthTap, their mobile app connected you with doctors who could answer your health questions at any time, right on your smartphone. Now, HealthTap has improved its service to give you personal and private medical consultations, a directory of local doctors, all ranked by quality, and the ability to schedule in-person appointments right through the app.
You can still use HealthTap to ask doctors your questions and get push notifications of their responses, but you can also reach out to a live doctor to ask personal, private health questions that you may not want to schedule an appointment for. Those doctors will give you their own credentials, answer your questions, and then refer you to an in-person appointment if necessary.
When it's time to schedule that appointment, HealthTap can help you find a good doctor in your area. The service assigns doctors a "DocScore," which uses publicly available information and peer-reviews as ranking criteria. Select the doctor you want to see, check if they accept your insurance, and then use the app to make an appointment. When you get there, you can even use HealthTap to unlock and share your personal health records (which the app claims are kept secure and encrypted at all times), right from your iOS or Android device.
HealthTap is free to download and use, but some features, like those virtual private consultations, will set you back $9.99 per question (and each question includes one free follow-up question, after which it's $4.99 to keep asking.) You can even upload images or video to go with your question when you ask. Everything else, including search, doctor scores, and appointments, are all free.
While the idea of talking to a doctor through the web may seem a little impersonal, I can see a place for affordable, personal care without the wait or a trip to the ER, and being able to take your medical history with you in case of emergencies.