San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) March 23, 2015
Today, FirstLine, the healthcare startup with a mission of reinventing the primary care system, announced its new on-demand house call service, which will allow users to order a doctor to their home or office for an in-person consultation. The service is available immediately within the San Francisco city limits and is the first full stack on-demand healthcare service of its type, giving users the option for virtual or in-person consultations based on need.
FirstLine launched its app in beta in late 2014 with a focus on building a telemedicine solution. The app, which is officially out of beta today and is already being used by thousands, allows users to video chat or text message with a healthcare professional to secure a diagnosis and prescription if needed, eliminating the need for a visit to the doctor’s office in most cases.
“Telemedicine really has been game-changing for healthcare professionals and patients alike. And for many, a virtual consultation is perfect. In certain cases though a patient really does need to see a doctor in-person, whether that’s due to the need for a physical examination or the legal restrictions of prescribing certain drugs without a face-to-face consult,” said Bryan O'Connell, Co-founder and CEO of FirstLine. “We built FirstLine as a solution to this. You can order a car, food, a housekeeper and more through apps, you should be able to deal with your health that way too.”
FirstLine users pay a one-time initiation fee of $25 and a monthly membership fee of $15 which includes access to phone, video-chat or text message consultations with doctors and physician assistants. This is often less expensive than traditional co-pays and the utilization of physician assistants helps the company keep the costs down for users. The service is available on-demand daily between 8am – 10pm local time, with typical response times of less than thirty seconds.
For users that request a visit from a doctor to their home or office though FirstLine’s on-demand house call service, there is a charge of $199 and wait time of about an hour. FirstLine plans to reduce the fee to less than $100 for most consultations as it scales. FirstLine can also provide documentation for users that would like to seek reimbursement from their insurance companies, and the healthcare professional can often bring a prescription to the user with an in-person visit, eliminating a pharmacy visit.
Typical medical issues treated by FirstLine include respiratory complaints (i.e. flu and a sore throat), stomach issues (i.e. food poisoning and constipation), STD treatment, travel medication, women’s health (i.e. yeast infection and UTI), skin issues (i.e. rash and shingles), allergies, sports injuries, and other minor inconveniences. FirstLine is not meant for serious issues that require an emergency room visit, but for minor to moderate issues that can be dealt with through a simple physician consultation.
FirstLine’s doctors are all hand-vetted by the team. Like other on-demand companies, the doctors choose their own schedules and work on their own terms. Many come from the emergency room, which is a very high-stress environment, and are parents that value the ability to work from home.
“I was excited when Bryan and his team first contacted me to take part in the beta for FirstLine. I’ve watched the telemedicine industry grow over the last few years, and had wanted to get involved, but hadn’t quite found the right fit,” said Sylvia Marx, a Physician Assistant with over 14 years of experience in the ER. “The FirstLine model is ideal for healthcare professionals, like myself, who have some bandwidth and want to get involved with either virtual or in-person consults. So many cases out there don’t require a patient to go down to a doctor’s office or urgent care, so I believe FirstLine and its technology is truly paving the way for the future of the healthcare system.”
FirstLine’s on-demand house call service will be available throughout the Bay Area in the coming months. The company has plans to rollout its telemedicine service in other states including Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania, with a plan to hit over 50% of the United States population within a year. FirstLine is also working on getting “in-network” with several insurance providers, which will help to significantly reduce costs moving forward. For more information, please visit http://www.firstlineapp.com/.
FirstLine is a healthcare service with a mission of reinventing the primary care system. The company’s iOS app allows users to video chat or text message with a healthcare professional to secure a diagnosis and prescription, eliminating the need for a visit to the doctor’s office. If a diagnosis cannot be made through video or text, FirstLine enables patients to request an in-person consultation through its on-demand house call service, eliminating the need for an office visit. FirstLine has offices in Boston, MA and San Francisco, CA, and was founded by Bryan O’Connell, Cama Garcia-Lock and Hugo Troche in 2014. The company is backed by e.ventures and Great Oaks Venture Capital. To learn more, please visit http://www.firstlineapp.com/.