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The rise of the mobile health visitor

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The rise of the mobile health visitor

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Last month I looked at various services that help you find a better doctor.  Most took a crowdsourced approach, with user reviews at the core of their offering, but some tapped into mobile facilities to provide users with a variety of location based services.  Whilst interesting, all of these services still required you to actually get to your doctor to receive their advice.

That’s even before you then go through the process of registering with that doctor and so on.  It’s usually very far from a tip up and be seen approach.  Step forward First Opinion.  They’re a mobile based service that aim to provide a direct connection between doctor and patient.

The patient in this instance is a mother (or parents to be strictly accurate) who are looking for parenting type advice from their doctor.  The app allows parents to post a request for advice 24/7 to the doctor that was selected for them to engage with.

These doctors are themselves parents and the whole service tries to operate on a friendly and personal level.  All conversations between the parents and their doctor are private and anonymous, with the hope being that this will encourage what might be difficult conversations to take place.

Whilst it’s not going to stop dads from taking part, it is primarily aimed at mothers or pregnant women, with the medical staff on hand all having experience of child related issues.  The aim is that mums can ask any child related questions and expect an almost instant response.

The doctor will then check up on the patient to make sure they’re doing alright, all within a friendly and relaxed discourse.  The basic instant messaging service is free, but there is also a subscription model that offers patients unlimited access to their chosen doctor.

It’s an interesting model, and one I’ve discussed with my partner (who works in this field), many times.  The standard approach taken at the moment requires a physical meeting between parent/s and health professional, which given the enormous case load of many of these professionals seems an inefficient use of time.  A service like this therefore could be a great way of delivering good quality care in a timely manner.  Check out the video below for a demo of the app.



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