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First-of-its-kind telemedicine app to offer affordable, 24/7 healthcare to all Americans
GreatCall, Inc., a leader in wireless health and safety services for aging consumers and their families, today announced that its free Urgent Care app leads the iTunes medical category as well as the Google Play medical category. Since launching in January, Urgent Care has become GreatCall’s fastest growing app by offering customers healthcare assistance with no insurance and no co-pay necessary.
Urgent Care provides individuals and families with 24/7 access to affordable, quality healthcare information and live medical specialists whenever and wherever they need it. No matter where a customer might be when they need help, whether on summer travel, or home at midnight, people can pay $3.99 to speak with a live registered nurse or board-certified physician, if necessary, to resolve medical issues without stepping foot in a doctor’s office. Callers can even receive common prescriptions, including medications like antibiotics and antihistamines, to treat a wide range of conditions. Spanish-speakers can speak with bilingual nurses and translators are available for doctors.
“We speak with people around the country every day who are seeking convenient medical consultation without making an unnecessary trip to wait in the doctor’s office,” said Charlene Slaney, Vice President of Client and Clinical Services for FONEMED, the call service that staffs GreatCall’s registered nurses, who are available 24/7. “When a patient needs our help in the middle of the night, we can provide immediate answers and even save lives.”
The health care system is currently overloaded, and long wait room times and health care professional shortages are projected to worsen as the Affordable Care Act ushers an estimated 30 million more newly insured patients into the market. The national average for doctor visit wait times is 20 minutes and recently approached two hours during the peak of this year’s flu season in January and February. The Urgent Care app helps people bypass some of these inconveniences by offering safe, easy-to-use medical consultation services on their time.
“As the healthcare landscape changes, people are seeking innovative technology solutions to stay healthy and meet their medical needs,” said David Inns, President and CEO of GreatCall. “Nobody likes sitting in a waiting room, and our m-health products help consumers stay connected with high quality health information and services from home, which can save them time and money, and provides relief to an overloaded national healthcare system.”
Already busy hospitals that must maintain safety nets for their communities while taking on these additional patients must also face growing doctor and nurse shortages to meet increasing primary care needs. More than 65 million Americans live in areas without enough primary care coverage, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration. Despite this gap in the system, the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts that within two years, the country will have 28,900 fewer primary care doctors than we need.
Urgent Care also allows users to make choices about how and where they receive medical consultation about their conditions. For example, many users access the app’s Interactive Symptom Checker feature to identify symptoms of common ailments they might initially find uncomfortable to discuss in person. The app helps identify possible causes, when to self-treat and when to contact a medical professional.
GreatCall’s expanding suite of award-winning health and safety products and services, which also includes the popular MedCoach and 5Star apps, enables independent living by providing mobile health solutions beyond geographic, language and economic barriers to deliver more convenient care solutions where needed most. Versions of these popular apps are also available on GreatCall’s Jitterbug cell
About LiveCare Clinic
LiveCare Clinic (www.Livecareclinic.com) offers the virtual urgent care center of the future providing access to physicians, nurses and technology on an integrated telemedicine platform. This platform offers a continent-wide network of Board Certified Physicians, FONEMED’s Registered Nurses and licensed therapists that provide 24/7 medical attention to patients by facilitating in-person consultations via real-time secure wireless communications, telephone, video and web. The HIPAA compliant technology system allows for assessment, advice, diagnosis and treatment on a wide range of conditions regardless of geographical location. In addition to responding to routine health concerns, this virtual medical clinic supports remote monitoring, disease management applications and Accountable Care Organizations that are changing the face of medicine. Clients include the US and Canadian governments, insurers, leading hospital, university medical centers and thousands of medical practices.