Almost everyone searches for free medical advice online. Whether you suffer from an ongoing condition such as lower back pain or carpal tunnel syndrome, or maybe you just have a question about that strange growth on your toe, you may turn to google before picking up the phone to call your doctor. With growing health care costs and crowded doctor’s offices, it’s more appealing to look for answers online before making an appointment.
My experience with searching for medical advice online has been less than ideal. I find it hard to wade through forums to find my exact situation, and difficult to trust the advice I’m reading. I am hesitant to sign up for an account at any of these sites and doubt that my question will be answered in a timely manner.
HealthTap, a new company based in Palo Alto (Silicon Valley), looks like a company that finally gets it. The whole experience looks and feels a lot like Twitter. The interface is fun and super easy to use. They even have mobile apps in addition to the web interface. You just ask a question, and it gets answered by a real doctor. You can ‘follow doctors’, read the activity feed and trending topics.
This is defintely the next generation of free online medical advice online. Get real answers from real doctors, fast. I’m confident that services like this will become a vital part of the health care system as health care costs continue to rise.