Heal is a new US-based app that promises to deliver a doctor to any user in under an hour, for a flat fee of $99 per visit.
The service, which launched in San Francisco this week, has been available in Los Angeles since February. Its network of doctors can write prescriptions and order lab work, alongside diagnosing basic illnesses such as colds and flu.
The app was partly inspired by the proliferation of mobile diagnostic tools such as QardioArm, a smart wireless blood pressure monitor that syncs with smartphones, and Peek, which transforms a smartphone's camera into an ophthalmoscope for eye examinations. These tools would allow doctors to carry out a full examination in the home without the need for bulky equipment.
The app is the latest in a growing number of on-demand lifestyle services, which are proving increasingly popular among time-pressed workers. "If I can hit a button and get someone to bring me a pie, or give me a massage, or measure me and make my shirts, I should be able to get a doctor to my house," co-founder Nick Desai told global news and entertainment website Buzzfeed.
Similar services already operate across the US: Doctors Making Housecalls sends medics to patients in North Carolina, while Pager is a start-up that allows residents of New York to order a doctor to their door.
In Hybrid Health, we outlined how new hybrid health apps and devices are splicing together features from social networks, mobile messaging and adaptive media to engage a new class of consumer. Look out for more coverage of this topic in our reporting from the upcoming Wired Health conference, coming soon to the site.