Wouldn’t it be great if you could text a doctor anytime of the night to find out if you need to be worried about your child? Concierge doctors and on call physicians are expensive, but for just $9 a month moms and dads can text a doctor and get medical advice 24/7.
First Opinion is an app that connects moms and dads with a doctor they can text for medical advice and information at any time of the day or night. Once matched with a doctor users will keep the same doctor when they text back, so the doctor will be familiar with their history.
The app is targeted at new parents and brags that every doctor is also a mom, so don’t expect to use this to find out if your rash is one you need to visit a doctor for. Instead First Opinion hopes to take the guesswork out of being a new parent and allow concerned moms and dads to quickly get an opinion on something that is bothering their child. The service claims 10,000 plus doctors reachable by text message.
Parents can start their first conversation with a specially matched doctor for free and then join up with a subscription of $9 a month to gain unlimited access to the doctor. This is an incredibly cheap and fast way to connect with a doctor in the middle of the night, and much more convenient than dragging a small child to urgent care or the ER for what may be something minor. The list below shows the average cost of seeking medical attention from the Fallon Community Health Plan Resources;
- Average Office Visit (Existing Patent) – $158
- Average Urgent Car Visit – $160
- Average ER Visit (Minor Injury) – 285
Compared to the average costs for an office visit, urgent car or the ER, $9 a month is a major savings. First Opinion won’t replace a traditional doctor or rule out all trips to see a doctor or emergency room team, but as the name implies it can deliver a quick opinion to help parents decide if medical attention is needed.
The service is aimed at parents with kids of all ages and specializes in providing opinions on the following subjects,
- Illness and Injury
- Child Development
- Sleep Training
This list is not exhaustive, but represents a range of questions new parents may have. Contacting a vetted medical professional is much better than turning to Facebook, WebMD or Yahoo Answers to determine if your child needs to see a doctor.
Facebook user Amelia Gutke writes, “I love being able to talk to my First Opinion doctor about certain symptoms before heading to my family physician. She’s always able to help me with non-emergency medical decisions for me and my family.” This is exactly what First Opinion hopes to be, a first step to find out if you need to take your child to a doctor and with unlimited text messages it could be a lifesaver for new parents who can’t pepper their primary care physician with every question they have.