The text-a-doctor service offered by the First Opinion App has launched a new version. The iOS App works by matching users with a physician that can answer a wide range of medical questions. The service– which offers a free consultation monthly or packages starting from $12 that allow for three or more consultations each month– works by having users fill in only their names and e-mail addresses to protect privacy. First Opinion then takes roughly under one minute to match users with a physician who can answer their questions via text. The app was originally designed for preventative care. For instance, expectant mothers would time their contractions and text this information to a doctor who would advise them whether or not it was time to go to the hospital. However, the app has since expanded to include users with insomnia or anxiety disorders. Overall, those getting the most benefit out of the app are patients who would have otherwise experienced “rejection visits”– those where they wait for hours on end to see a doctor only to have the doctor tell them not to come back unless the condition becomes worse.
The newer version includes a greater variety of doctors and employing staff to work during the day and night so that patients can receive a consultation at their convenience.