App touted as Uber for house calls

December 13, 2014 in Medical Technology

Need a doctor? Better yet, wish you could roll back time and get that physician to come to you? Well, you’re in luck: Pardon the cliché, but there’s an app for that. 

Pager, a New York City-based company that calls itself “urgent care on wheels,” is using an app to help patients in Manhattan and Brooklyn get house calls from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

In an on-demand, service-oriented culture, Americans want convenience and will pay for it, said Richard Boxer, MD, the chief medical officer at Pager. And it probably doesn’t hurt that Pager was founded by Oscar Salazar, one of Uber’s original technologists.

“If drivers and riders can be connected,” Boxer wondered, “why not bring patients and doctors together?”

Boxer intends to discuss mobile-enabled physician visits, business opportunities and requirements for the implementation of house call apps during a session at the upcoming mHealth Summit 2014, scheduled for Dec. 7-11 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at National Harbor, Md.

This isn’t Boxer’s first rodeo. From 2006-13, he was the CMO of Teladoc, a company that offers round-the-clock access to a doctor via phone and online video consultations.

Boxer added that despite the growing popularity of telehealth, these technologies have an inherent disadvantage that patients can’t actually have a physical examination.

What’s more, he noted, plenty of patients either require or simply desire a face-to-face visit.

“Healthcare must be brought to the patient and not the patient to healthcare,” Boxer said. “This is the only method to sustain our system, and it provides affordable access to quality care.”

Boxer’s session will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 9, from 2:30-3:30 p.m.

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