By Christine Kern, contributing writer
Smartphones are now being used to bring patients and doctors together in consult via mobile app.
A new mobile app called TouchCare enables patients to engage in video appointments with their physicians using smartphones or tablets, offering a secure connection, convenience, and more personalized healthcare, according to a press release.
The app, currently available only for the iOS platform from the app store, brings patients and physicians together through telemedicine, providing a platform for follow-up appointments, consulting over test results, obtaining medication refills, afterhours care, or doctor-to-doctor communication. According to Health Data Management, the app will be available for Android in early 2015 and in a Windows version down the road.
“Technology and the way we use it to enhance our lives is changing so rapidly – yet it has not made healthcare more accessible for patients. If anything, it is harder to connect with your own doctor than in years past,” said Damian Gilbert, TouchCare’s founder and CEO, in the press release.
“TouchCare is delivering on this need, offering technology that both improves and expedites the healthcare experience, and most importantly, keeps patients connected to their own healthcare providers for continuity of care.”
Highly cognizant of privacy concerns, TouchCare is HIPAA compliant and creates a secure line of communication between doctors and patients using encryption technology to ensure confidentiality.
“We offer a practical, clear-cut solution,” continued Gilbert. “Because TouchCare has been created with both providers and patients in mind, the focus is on convenience in a very positive and personal way. We’re delivering on both remote, mobile access and better quality of care with an easy to use, completely secure solution that maintains the critical link between patients and their providers.”
First launched in March 2014, TouchCare is currently being used by physicians in both North Carolina and New York. According to the release, the app was designed as an alternative to “dial-a-doc” services, allowing patients to reach their own physicians via video.
Physicians can use the app to offer video consultations for free or establish a patient fee for use. Reimbursement by insurers will depend on the policies of each company.