Doximity launches telehealth app for providers

Professional medical network Doximity is expanding into the telemedicine market.

The company launched Doximity Dialer Video, a telehealth app that enables doctors to video call their patients on any smartphone.

Doximity's telehealth solution is HIPAA-secure and doesn't require patients or doctors to download any extra apps or sign up for software, the company said.

The company has seen a huge spike in engagement on its platform since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Amit Phull, M.D., Doximity's vice president of strategy and insights.

"In particular, we have seen a surge in usage of Doximity Dialer. For context, prior to the pandemic, we were facilitating about 1 million calls a month. Now we are averaging about 1 million calls a day. Our newsfeed has also seen over 60% jump in engagement since the crisis began," Phull told FierceHealthcare.

Doximity Dialer is the company's secure voice calling feature that enables doctors to call patients using their cell phone while setting the caller ID to their hospital or office line.

"Doctors are relying on Doximity more than ever during this critical time to be efficient, stay up to date with the latest news and research, and to connect with patients safely and securely," Phull said.

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As more physicians work from home or turn to virtual care to treat patients, they need tools that work for everyone on their care team and can be rapidly adopted. Close to half of doctors are now using telehealth to treat patients as the COVID-19 pandemic changes practice patterns and how physicians deliver care, according to a survey from the Physicians Foundation.

Doximity launched the new telehealth app to meet the needs of physicians for a simple telemedicine tool, the company said.

The demand for telehealth solutions has soared during the pandemic, and the field is now crowded with major industry players like Teladoc and Amwell and new telemedicine solutions that have been released during the pandemic.

Federal health regulators also have waived some restrictions to enable doctors to use consumer-facing tools like Skype and Zoom.

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But many mainstream platforms are not HIPAA-compliant and are challenging for patients and their doctors to use, Phull said.

"Other tools proved to be insecure and represented a risk to patient privacy. We’re always asking our physician members for feedback on how we can better serve their clinical needs. Our members told us they wanted an easy-to-use telemedicine tool—something that was secure and protected their privacy, and that of their patients. They also wanted a tool that was simple for patients to use," he said.

About 70% of U.S. physicians already use the Doximity platform every day, according to the company.

"Doximity was built from the ground up with security and privacy as the top priority," Phull said. "Calls made through Dialer Video are HIPAA-compliant, encrypted, and easy to use. It also works with any health system’s existing suite of telemedicine technologies. For the patient, it works with any smartphone and there are no extra downloads or sign-in required. Doctors can just send a link and connect with their patients instantly. "

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The Doximity Dialer Video tool includes Custom CallerID which enables physicians to set the CallerID to their hospital or office line and integrates with Epic Haiku, the health IT vendor's mobile electronic health record (EHR) app.  

The platform also complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accessibility Act (HIPAA) requirements as patient calls are encrypted, kept private, and never recorded, the company said.

Munir Janmohamed, M.D., medical director of advanced heart failure at Dignity Health Sacramento, said physicians need efficient telemedicine tools to do virtual visits from their smartphones.

"It’s reliable, secure and a very simple solution for my patients. It’s incredibly helpful to be able to see them through a video call. This is reassuring for patients and helps me make a better clinical assessment of how they’re doing," Jonmohamed said in a statement.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Dialer Video is available for free through January 2021.