Most apps on mobile devices such as a smart phone are pretty much useless in my earnest opinion, but some of those apps are actually practical. Practical apps are hard to find these days not for the reasons such as lack thereof, but it’s about how hard it’s for us to look for not so obvious practical apps among hundred thousands of similar useless apps. Plus, there is this saying, one individual’s trash is another individual’s treasure. Some apps are purely for pleasure and aesthetic means, then I guess it’s up to the eyes of the beholder to judge the beauty and merit of the apps. So, when I first set my eyes on Healthtap, I felt immediately that the app is unique and practical. For an example, an app in which had been rolled out by a bank to help facilitate banking transactions would be an obvious useful and practical app. Healthtap is definitely fitting into an obvious useful and practical app category since it helps its users to seek for answers to their health-related questions with real doctors for free. Nonetheless, if a user feels that she or he doesn’t need to reveal health-related questions in public forums, she or he can basically pay for private questions. Initial private health-related questions cost around $10 each, and subsequent health-related questions in relation to the initial ones will cost $5 each. Nonetheless, users who don’t want to pay or ask health-related questions in fear of losing privacy can just browse for the answers from Healthtap public forums. In a nutshell, Healthtap provides the means for reputable doctors to help just about anyone who uses Healthtap easily, and everybody can access these doctors for some quick advices affordably.
Obviously, to truly treat one person’s illness, one probably has had to visit a doctor in person for a complete treatment, but Healthtap might help a person to clear up some major curious health-related questions before making a face to face visit with a doctor. Even if Healthtap app is hard to use and ugly, the value behind the means of this app is still tremendous. Luckily, I had browsed Healthtap app through a browser from a laptop and noticed that it was pretty sleek and easy to use. I also had downloaded Healthtap onto my iPhone, but I had not yet launched it to see how friendly it would be on a mobile device. Furthermore, Healthtap app is also available for iPad and Android mobile devices. Besides the obvious means of asking health-related questions such as sending texts and photos to a doctor, Healthtap provides means to allow all doctors to rate the health-related answers — providing even more confidence to such health-related answers. According to TechCrunch’s “With New Mobile Apps, Eric Schmidt-Backed HealthTap Brings The House Call Back To Healthcare” article, Healthtap provides doctor-to-doctor ratings known as DocScore. I’m not sure how DocScore works out, but it seems that it’s a peer review kind of thing. Perhaps, peer review can be biased (i.e., people who knew each other may give each other great score on something), but it does put pressure on doctors to have great Healthtap reputation for them to be effective health providers in the eyes of Healthtap users. Obviously, I had left out many features that Healthtap is providing, because I’m still learning how this app works exactly. Nonetheless, it’s clear that the purpose of this app is sound and practical. Whether people will find Healthtap as the only app to go for health-related advices is remained to be seen though.
In summary, Healthtap is a health advising platform — with the potential of allowing patients to meet up with reputable doctors for real treatments — which so far has been successfully connecting thousands of highly regarded doctors of various medical fields to just about anyone who has the will to use Healthtap. This feat alone is excellent and practical. Icing on the cake features are features such as allowing Healthtap users to ask each private question for minimum fee of $10 or less, encouraging people who may not have the wish to visit a doctor yet to find out what is going on with their health affordably and virtually. Meanwhile, Healthtap users feel reassuring that Healthtap’s medical advices are merit since the advices come from licensed doctors. Simply put, I think there will be plenty of people that find Healthtap to be practical and useful. After all, humans with failing healths are plenty in number, because they are humans!
Afterthought: Prophetically, people have had envision that one day patients don’t really have to meet up with their doctors physically to get a health exam or something similar since Internet technology might advance in a way that allows such possibility to be possible. I think ISPs need to provide more affordable and much much faster broadband services in order for people to regularly stream videos and possibly 3D digital contents before the idea of having doctors to visit your home virtually be feasible. Plus, ISPs need to get rid of bandwidth limit and favor the flat rate, unlimited bandwidth applications before innovation such as having doctors to visit someone virtually be practical. For now, Healthtap is only a stepping stone for the next best innovation that will bring doctors to someone virtually!
- Silicon Alley Insider: This Is The App That Will Change Everything About Healthcare (AAPL, GOOG) (businessinsider.com)
- Can’t Reach Your Doctor?…Put Down Your Phone, and Pick Up Your iPad Instead! (forbes.com)
- Doctors on demand: 5 startups wiping out the waiting room (gigaom.com)
- Rock Report: Personalization in Consumer Health by @Rock_Health (slideshare.net)
- Android Getting Crushed By iOS In App Retention (appadvice.com)
- Best Medical Apps For Doctors And Patients (technispace.com)
- Adena Delivers Instant Health Information to Mobile Devices (prweb.com)
- New Security App Makes Messages, Photos Self-Destruct (huffingtonpost.com)
- Mobile Devices: Changing Healthcare Forever (v3im.com)
- A Doctor’s-Eye View of Silicon Valley (xconomy.com)