There IS a doctor in the house!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

You’re not feeling well. You’d get checked out but it’s the weekend and you don’t feel it’s urgent enough to go to a walk-in clinic or emergency. If only you had a doctor on your speed-dial for a quick diagnosis!

HealthTap is an app that provides just that. It’s an online interactive health network with access to over 60,000 doctors who are there to answer your health concerns and medical questions. As long as you can pose them in 150 characters or less. (This is the 21st century, after all!)

I hadn’t been feeling well for the past few days, some light-headedness, slight nausea and a few dizzy spells. (And no, I’m not pregnant.)  I usually have a doctor at my disposal 24-7, but my mom is on vacation and I couldn’t get a hold of her.


photoI logged onto HealthTap and set up an account and answered some personal and medical questions. Then I typed in my symptoms and responded to a few follow-up questions and hit send.

A few hours later, I got my response from an ENT specialist in New York. Two other doctors agreed with his diagnosis – most likely Labyrinthitis, an inflammation of the inner ear.  Can occur after a cold, which I also had recently.

Oh, and did I mention that all this is free?*

The app also allows you to view answers to similar health questions, peruse medical articles or create checklists to meet specific health goals.

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 8.57.38 AM

One criticism, I didn’t find the app intuitive enough. For example, I couldn’t figure out where to find the answer to my initial question. After a few false starts, I realized I had to click on my original query itself.

Of course, all of this doesn’t replace a trip to a real live doctor who can do a proper examination.  HealthTap does advertise itself as a complimentary service, not a replacement for seeing a physician.  My online ENT did advise me to see my own doctor if the condition worsens.

But at those times when you just want a quick answer, one specific to you and not something generic off the web, then yes, there is a doctor in the house. Every house in fact.

*There is a premium service as well. For a monthly fee, you can engage in live online consults with doctors.

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