PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Can’t make it to the doctors office? There’s an app for that!
A group of local medical professionals have launched the MyHouseCall App. It’s intention is to provide users with an alternative to going to the doctor’s office, the emergency room, or an urgent care center.
“We all saw that there is definitely a need in respect to cost and convenience,” says Dr. Stephen Ritz, who is board certified in family medicine.
The app was founded by Michael Cole and his brother, Eric. Dr. Ritz is one of the Medical Directors, as well as a founding partner.
Under physician supervision, users can request a video-conference with a nurse practitioner on their mobile device or laptop. If they live in Allegheny County, they can request an in-person house call.
While the team behind MyHouseCall can’t handle emergency situations, they can address other immediate issues.
“Things like coughs, colds, rashes, basic orthopedic injuries like ankle sprains,” Dr. Ritz tells Newsradio 1020 KDKA.
Dr. Ritz says the target demographic includes the millennial generation, people who use urgent care centers, and busy parents.
“For example, [if] a working mom wakes up in the morning, and her child has a high fever…it’d be far more convenient for her to have someone come out to her house and see her child and be able to phone in the prescription,” says Dr. Ritz.
MyHouseCall was launched in November. It is not affiliated with any local healthcare companies, and it does not accept health insurance. Instead, users pay with a credit card.
Dr. Ritz says it’s based on similar companies in other cities, like New York and Minneapolis. He compares it to rideshare company Uber.
“What we’re really doing is trying to use the Uber model for convenience and cost and for how Uber has disrupted the transportation industry.” says Dr. Ritz. “We think healthcare is ripe for this type of disruption as well.”
Dr. Ritz hopes the app will grow by word-of-mouth.
“We feel that we’ll be able to really grow in the marketplace when people see that we’re a very viable alternative to going to more expensive options.”