Some docs skeptical of house call apps

Some patients are adopting apps that allow them to summon a doctor for a house call.

Apps that allow patients to summon a doctor for a house call may be the way of the future, but many physicians are skeptical of the trend.

Docs that participate in such programs like that it allows them to get back to the basics of medicine, according to an article from MedPage Today. But some physicians have expressed concerns that certain apps may lead to subpar care, as docs treat conditions they’re not trained to handle.

For example, Chris Koutures, M.D., a pediatric sports medicine specialist, told the publication that the app could summon a primary care physician to treat a child’s orthopedic injury, and that doctor may not have the needed musculoskeletal knowledge to provide proper care.

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Another hurdle for many physicians, according to Koutures, is a simple lack of time may make it hard to participate. Many doctors are already burned out and stressed, so adding additional work hours to make house calls could be a hard sell.

"There's fleeting times I think about it, but in the greater scheme, how do you put that into your professional or personal life?” he said. “That's where it becomes more complicated."

But doctors that work for Health app told MedPage Today that patients are more at ease when doctors treat them at home and can allow doctors a glimpse at health issues that may be present in the home.

Heal’s executives noted that home care can also prevent patients from making unneeded visits to the emergency room or urgent care facilities.