Healthcare IT News – Telehealth vendors offer free consults to Hurricane Harvey victims

09.01.2017   |   Uncategorized

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Two companies are trying to assist Houston-area residents who cannot make it to a physician or psychiatrist.
By Bill Siwicki
August 31, 201701:57 PM

Citizens forced to evacuate their homes but have medical needs can access Doctor On Demand at no cost in the Hurricane Harvey affected areas. Photo via Twitter
Telemedicine services provider Doctor On Demand and healthcare technology start-up EpicMD are offering victims of Hurricane Harvey free telehealth consultations.

Harvey has been slamming the Houston, Texas area for days flooding neighborhoods, forcing citizens to evacuate their homes, causing chemical plant fires, and a rising death toll.

“The situation in Houston has become uniquely acute,” said Matt Wanderer, CEO and founder of Epic Health, the parent company of EpicMD and Share-the-Care.

[Also: Allscripts picks Vidyo to add telehealth features to patient portal]

Doctor On Demand will make its medical services available to anyone in the affected regions at no cost through September 8, 2017. The service’s physicians will treat infections, skin and eye issues, sprains and bruises, back pain, vomiting and diarrhea, colds, coughs, and congestion, and 90 percent of the most common medical issues seen in the emergency room and urgent care. The company’s physicians are trained to treat stress, anxiety, grief and depression, the provider added.

During significant weather events, patients often are unable to access healthcare due to road closures, flooding or office closures. The services from Doctor On Demand will allow patients to access medical care without traveling into severe weather situations.

[Also: Comparing 11 top telehealth platforms: Company execs tout quality, safety, EHR integrations]

Doctor On Demand offers video consultations with board-certified physicians, psychiatrists and licensed psychologists via smartphone or computer. The service is available for anyone to use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

To access Doctor On Demand, consumers can download the app in the iTunes App Store or at Google Play or create an account on the website. Once registered, patients can enter code HARVEY2017 to redeem their visit with a medical physician.

EpicMD, for its part, is offering free medical consultations provided remotely by board-certified primary care physicians and specialists via its Share-the-Care program. Hurricane victims can reach EpicMD clinicians by phone, video, e-mail or text message.

Public health officials are already suggesting that Hurricane Harvey will wreak long-term harm on Houston and area residents.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com