Free apps offer solutions to medical challenges

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Updated: 8/07/2014 11:19 am
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & -- Finding a new doctor or getting a quick medical question answered can be frustrating. The good news is there's a free app for each problem.

It's clear technology is changing medicine, but not all change is positive. 

"I think a lot of that is the way of the future," said University of Nevada School of Medicine Professor Doctor Daniel Spogen. "People are looking for more immediate access than in the past."

Immediate access is what McKay Thomas said his First Opinion app offers.

"There's unlimited messaging back and forth with your doctor 24 hours a day," Thomas said. 

You're matched with a doctor within minutes and ready to ask any medical question.

"Those questions where you're like 'Do I need a doctor? Is it serious? Is there anything I can do that will fix this up or make me feel better?" Thomas said.  

Thomas said they've done 35 thousand consultations in the last six months.

Dr. Spogen said this kind of immediate, remote access is here to stay.

"I think you're going to see a total change in our healthcare delivery system," he said.

BetterDoctor is a website and app designed to change how you find healthcare.

"I always say you are at your weakest when you want to find a new doctor," said BetterDoctor CEO Ari Tulla.

Tulla said more than 10 million people have used BetterDoctor so far. They're getting more than reviews - like information on malpractice claims and procedures completed.

"All these tools that are coming up today like BetterDoctor are helping you to be a better consumer," Tulla said. 

Dr. Spogen said that's good information to have, but it's better to get it from someone you know.

"I think word of mouth is still the best way to find a new doctor," he said. 

When in doubt, skip the apps and just ask your doctor.

"Overall i think the apps are good," Dr. Spogen said. "I think that it's an extender of healthcare. I think there are bad apps out there and if you're not sure about an app I would share that with your physician or somebody in their office."
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