Well it looks like CallMD, the website that offers online and phone medical advice from doctors and nurses is teaming up with A.D.A.M. (company that provides medical technologies). A.D.A.M. already has an app out (pictured), called Medzio Health Manager. The app allows you to search for medical topics based on your symptoms and it lets you search for local clinics/hospitals. It doesn’t appear to be affiliated with any clinics, and when you do search, it uses google maps to search basic key words. Needless to say, its a pretty basic app. Thats where CallMD comes in. My assumption is they are going to use a Medzio type free app to help you organize your “symptoms” and then link you to the CallMD team for a fee.
Mobile consumers use our service because the traditional health services and nurse lines just don’t work for them anymore,” said Curt McCallister, vice president of medical programs at CallMD. “We selected A.D.A.M. after evaluating several consumer health information providers and found the A.D.A.M. content and tools to be unsurpassed. We were also looking for a partner that could provide more than just health articles, and A.D.A.M.’s Symptom Navigator web and mobile device tools allow us to provide additional information to our clinicians. We were especially excited to be able to partner with them on the Medzio iPhone application, which we believe will have a huge impact on the way people seek and receive care.” (Full article link can be found here)
The first part is definitely a bit bogus. If it’s anything serious, you’re going to go see your doctor or some medical provider. There is no way you can make an online or phone diagnosis definitively. You can get a pretty good “idea”, but you still need a good physical exam and lab tests. I think the main utility will be for people with small symptoms who want some peace of mind.
Also, is this app going to really be a game changer? You can already call CallMD through their hot line. From the quote above you get the sense that it might make things easier for CallMD. They will probably have some standardized symptoms and key information they will ask their users to input through the iphone, and this will make it easier for the docs and nurses to go through the patients information.
Needless to say, this eventual app and partnership is going to give patients with iphones a more streamlined access to a doctor or nurse, and it will be interesting to see how much people are willing to pay for “peace of mind”.