By Kathy Walsh
NORTHGLENN, Colo. (CBS4) – ‘Tis the season for sickness. Cold and flu afflict many of us. If you need to see a doctor but don’t want to leave the couch nowadays, you can simply reach for your smartphone, tablet or desktop computer and use a video medicine provider called Doctor on Demand.
One day in November, Eileen Quist of Northglenn got home from work and found 11-year-old Kolby feeling crummy.
“His fever was 104, his ears were bright red, he was complaining about his throat hurting,” Eileen told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.
Eileen says her son wanted to see a doctor, but he didn’t want to leave home. Eileen had the app for Doctor on Demand. She signed in, answered some questions and up popped a doctor on her smartphone who listened to Kolby’s symptoms and even took a look at his throat through Eileen’s phone.
“I had this (smartphone) faced in his throat and I had a flashlight telling him to go ahhhh,” said Eileen.
Dr. Tania Elliott is the assistant medical director of Doctor on Demand. CBS4 spoke with her via the app. Based in New York City, she says she sees patients from all over the country, up to four video visits an hour.
“We’re not going to replace your standard primary care physician, however we can supplement that and we can provide that added access to care that is sometimes missing,” Elliott said.
Doctor on Demand is 24/7. You can access it from a tablet, smartphone or desktop computer. Eileen Quist’s employer, SCL Health, is the first health system in Colorado to offer it.
“The consult is $40. It can be reimbursed by insurance if you have that,” said Dr. Shawn Dufford, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of SCL Health.
The doctor Kolby saw via the app sent in electronic prescriptions for strep throat and an ear infection. His mother, Eileen, loved the convenience of the virtual house call.
“I wasn’t sitting in an urgent care for 3 or 4 hours or an emergency room. I was at my kitchen table with my kid wrapped in his blanket,” Eileen said.