posted at 19:00
Author: Adario Strange
This App Lets You Ask a Doctor Any Question in Real-Time via Smartphone
First Opinion is hoping to bridge that gap between "Quantified self" apps and a full-on doctor visit by providing an app that puts you in direct contact with real doctors around the world, who are capable of rendering real-time medical advice. The 24-hour service allows the user to communicate with a doctor an unlimited number of times to help answer a myriad of general medical questions via text messages within the app. Before you're given the opportunity to communicate with the doctor, you're presented with a brief bio of the doctor's specialty, how long they've been practicing, their geographic location and how many questions they've already answered on the service. One possible issue with the app is what First Opinion's Terms of Service reveals, namely, that you won't be dealing with doctors licensed to practice in the U.S. Additionally, the company's site advises users to avoid using the app during emergency situations, stating, "Call 9-1-1 or your own physician or pediatrician if you suspect or have reason to believe an emergency exists". When you first log in, you're asked to provide your age and gender, after which the app matches you with a doctor. On two separate occasions we were matched with a doctor in India and a doctor in Australia. After answering couple of follow-up questions from the doctor, we were given additional answers offering more detail and perspective on the initial answer. So while it's clear - even based on the company's own statements - that one shouldn't use the text from the doctors as real medical advice, such a real-time line to trained physicians is a compelling proposition.

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