Better is a healthcare concierge app with access to the knowledge and expertise of Mayo Clinic.
From anywhere in the world, you can use Better to tell you what problems could be causing your symptoms, connect you directly to a Mayo Clinic nurse or doctor, schedule appointments, research conditions using reputable sources and track your medical records.
In a demonstration, Better founder Geoff Clapp showed how the app could be used. Based on his symptoms, the app told him that celiac disease was a likely cause. He was then able to call a nurse at Mayo Clinic who did a short interview.
Although the nurse was unable to give him a diagnosis, she was able to explain a little about celiac disease, schedule a blood test, and give suggestions of local places to eat that serve gluten free food. The nurse knew that Clapp was travelling and scheduled the blood test for when he returned to California.
There is something our astute iMedicalApps Physician readers will already be skeptical about. Celiac disease is further down the differential diagnosis list when it comes to GI complaints–as there are many other more common pathologies we would think about, especially for someone who is traveling. Nonetheless, having the ability to communicate with a nurse and access the Mayo Clinic’s vast medical database using your mobile device is definitely appealing.
A beta version of the app is currently available. The official release is expected this summer although they have yet to establish exactly how pricing will work. There will be a free version that will only provide access to the Mayo Clinic website and allow you to create medical records. The app will initially be released on the iPhone, but there are plans to create an Android version as well.
The paid subscription will be tiered with more expensive tiers coming with greater access to services. Service levels will range from having access to advisors on improving one’s health, access to nurses, or access to doctors on call. The highest level of service will include coordination of emergency services, travel bookings, and appointments.
The pricing will range from $90 a month to thousands monthly. Better expects their most popular services will be between $100 to $500 per month. The service is HIPAA compliant and can be paid for using money in a pre-tax health savings account.
With great care taken to provide a high quality service, it will be interesting to see what segments of the population will subscribe to services such as Better or potential future rivals. At the end of the day, it boils down to the following question: “How much are people willing to pay for a little more peace of mind with their healthcare?”