A Doctor in Your Stocking? DocChat Offers Telemedicine Industry's First-ever Gift Certificates

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As telemedicine continues changing the way we experience healthcare, more Americans see smart phone doctor appointments as a standard commodity that can be given away as a gift. Some see it as the perfect gift for busy friends and relatives worried about their health, but never have the time to see a doctor.

Digital Doctor Gift Certificates - the first telemedicine gift certificates offered by any provider in the fast-growing mobile healthcare market.

It was bound to happen. As 15-minute, $50 smart phone doctor visits become an increasingly familiar way to see a doctor, at least one telecare provider, New York based DocChat, sees virtual doctor appointments as a great holiday or birthday gift idea; and patients agree.

“We want to do more than make healthcare convenient and affordable,” said DocChat founder Dr. Steve Okhravi, a former hospital ER physician. “We want to make it a commodity, a product people can purchase in different packages and give to friends or relatives who are too busy to visit a local doctor but not too busy to see one through their smart phone.”

Last week, DocChat began offering “Digital Doctor Gift Certificates” - the first telemedicine gift certificate offered by any provider in the fast-growing mobile healthcare market. By visiting the DocChat Gift Certificate Ordering Page on the company's Website - https://docchat.io/giftcardsCheckout - a health-conscious friend can purchase a discounted virtual doctor consultation for $40. The certificate can be purchased by anyone and sent by email to a friend relative anywhere in the US. According to DocChat, it makes no difference whether the certificate recipient is located in the same city or across the country and it makes no difference whether they have health insurance. As long as telemedicine services have been approved in the patient's state, the gift certificate can be redeemed and the recipient will have access to board-certified medical care through their Smart phone, laptop, or desktop whenever they wish. The company's slogan launched along with the service: "Give the Gift of Health!"

“I think it’s a great idea,” said 76-year old Margarita Benson, an Oakland, CA resident and regular DocChat patient. “I’m diabetic and use DocChat when I get worried about my sugar levels being too high or too low. Having instant access to a physician through my smart phone who’s also an expert in diabetes helps me manage my panic attacks.” Thanks to timely advice from her DocChat doctor, Benson has avoided the expense and inconvenience of frequent trips to the ER. She thanks DocChat for saving her money and keeping her out of the hospital. “When I read about DocChat gift certificates, I immediately thought of my daughter and signed up,” said Benson. Her daughter, Sabrina Shane 48-years-old resident of Oakland, CA and the mother of three underage children, maintains a full-time job as a single mother. Because her children always seem to be skinning their knees, breaking bones, of catching colds, the DocChat gift certificate is likely to be used within a few weeks or within a few days after the holiday season. “My daughter has no time. Giving her a digital doctor is the only way she's going to see a doctor," said Benson. DocChat guarantees that a board-certified physician will be available for a video call within 15 minutes.

DocChat offers "Digital Doctor Gift Certificates" in four discounted packages:
1) 1 Call/Consultation = $40 ($10 savings)
2) 3 Calls/Consultations = $110 ($40 savings)
3) 5 Calls/Consultations = $180 ($70 savings)
4) 12 mo. annual subscription = $500 ($100 savings)

Will gift certificate recipients appreciate the convenience of a free virtual doctor’s appointment? A recent study suggests the answer is “yes”. The study of 8,000 patients who used telemedicine services found no difference between the virtual appointment and an in-person office visit.

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Michael Okhravi
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