New app to provide doctor "house calls" for busy families

Tuesday, December 23, 2014
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TouchCare app makes doctor's visits easier.

DURHAM (WTVD) -- A new mobile app designed by a Durham company is offering patients the convenience of seeing their doctor right from the comfort of their own homes.

It's called TouchCare, and its creators said they had the typical, busy parents in mind when they designed this free app.

"Today, what happens if they wake up, that child has a rash, it can really turn that whole family's schedule on edge," said TouchCare COO Tim Horan.

He added that, for anyone, it can be tough to get a last minute appointment. You may spend a large amount of time in a waiting room, or you may have to go to an ER or Urgent Care Clinic. That can not only be costly, but can also interrupt the continuity of care when you're consistently seeing the same family physician. Horan says their new app offers an easy alternative.

"That family is able to call their physician, their practice, and when that practice has an availability they can schedule a video consult in the convenience of their home."

So, much like using Skype or FaceTime, you would have a face-to-face consult with your doctor over your smartphone or tablet using the TouchCare app. The idea became a reality when the company officially launched last March, and their site is now up and fully running.

Horan says they've already gotten some local doctors and major medical institutions on board, and they hope more doctors and patients will follow suit.

"From a physician's perspective it's incredibly simple, they can download the app and set up a profile, then invite a patient and it's as simple as sending out a Facebook invite and accepting that request."

Patients can download the app for free and ask their physicians to join, if they haven't already.

In North Carolina, Blue Cross Blue Shield does reimburse for video consults, so the copay is likely the same as an in-office visit. But, because different insurance providers have different policies, it's important to check with each provider first.

For more information visit the Touchcare website.

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