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Heal, an App to cure your Cold or Flu by sending the Doc to your place.

Heal, an App to cure your Cold or Flu by sending the Doc to your place.

What do you do if you’re a one car fam­i­ly, your spouse is on a busi­ness trip with the Tes­la and you need some­one to look at lit­tle Bil­ly, soon­er than lat­er? What do you think about the idea of using an app called Heal to get real med­ical help from a neigh­bor­hood or close-by doc­tor? Vis­it­ing doc­tors is noth­ing new but Heal wants it to become far more com­mon place.

Heal from Los Ange­les is remak­ing old-fash­ioned house vis­its by offer­ing an on-demand ser­vice promis­ing a doc­tor in under an hour. The ser­vice had start­ed in LA last year and is now avail­able in San Fran­cis­co. There are plen­ty of new start-ups that are offer­ing telep­res­ence ser­vice, mean­ing you can talk with a doc­tor over a skype like sys­tem, but for some, they want a doc­tor they touch and to inspect a sit­u­a­tion first hand. Heal sends that tra­di­tion­al med­ical doc­tor, com­plete with black bag, stetho­scope and oth­er portable, hi-tech gad­gets.

Heal founder Dr. Renee Dua, a board cer­ti­fied kid­ney spe­cial­ist had a per­son­al sit­u­a­tion which had her sick son sit­ting in an ER room overnight because the right doc­tor wasn’t avail­able. “It was awful. When your kid is sick you need a sim­ple way to get a doc­tor fast.” The ser­vice is very easy to under­stand, it will search for a qual­i­fied doc­tor around you and bring them over to your loca­tion in under an hour. For some cas­es this could be a light­ning expe­ri­ence com­pared to wait­ing in a clin­ic or a hos­pi­tal.

Dr. Dua real­ized that doc­tors already have all the avail­able tools at hand to han­dle a cold or flu, “You’d be sur­prised what we have these days,” gad­gets like the Aliv­Cor ECG, a heart rate mon­i­tor that hooks up to your smart­phone for read­ings, and the CellScope, a tool that came out of UC Berke­ley that turns the cam­era of your smart­phone or tablet into a high-qual­i­ty light micro­scope. Heal has raised $3.7 mil­lion in seed mon­ey so far, and Dr. Dua plans to use the mon­ey to expand Heal beyond L.A. and the Bay Area in the near future. To start you need to down­load the iOS Heal app (Android com­ing soon) and then offer­ing doc­tor ser­vices between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., sev­en days a week. A doc­tor should come to your door with­in 60 min­utes.

The truth is it’s not an orig­i­nal idea, in North Car­oli­na there’s Doc­tors Mak­ing House­calls. Then in New York City there’s start-up Pager. Also in LA, Med­icast which works with hos­pi­tals and estab­lished physi­cian prac­tices to pro­vide sched­uled house calls to patients. So what is Heal charg­ing for the ser­vice? A sin­gle vis­it will cost $99 which is sig­nif­i­cant­ly more than if you were to take your­self to a doc­tor but Dr. Dua points out that you should also take into con­sid­er­a­tion the time, gas mon­ey and park­ing you may have to pay to do so.

Dr. Dua said she’s work­ing on a “hyper-local­ized” appli­ca­tion so that doc­tors are clos­er to patients in the same way Uber dri­vers pick up rides with­in a cer­tain area close to them. Heal offers a ser­vice that will go and pick up your med­ica­tion, vit­a­mins and what­ev­er else you need at the phar­ma­cy for you. Even­tu­al­ly Heal will be able to offer oth­er things like vac­ci­na­tions and ultra­sound on-demand. They now have a doc­tor close to every neigh­bor­hood in L.A. now. If you’ve ever had an inter­est in med­i­cine maybe you might want to see how you can apply your media back­ground to help­ing peo­ple?

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