Web Exclusive: Technology helping house calls make a comeback

Web Exclusive: Technology helping house calls make a comeback

(CNN) - You know the feeling when you or your child gets sick, it can be really tough to get out of bed and drag yourself to the doctor's office.  In some places now technology is bringing the doctor to you.

What's old is new again, thanks to some new smartphone apps.  House calls are making a comeback.  In the 1930's, house calls accounted for 40% of medical visits but that dropped to just one-percent by the 1980's.

Medicast and Pager are just two of the reach-a-doc apps out there and provide similar services. You can sign up with the service and get a doctor to come to your home if you or a loved one is feeling ill. Other apps such as Doctor on Demand and Ringadoc allow patients to speak to a doctor over the phone or video chat. The high tech health care is being dubbed "tele-medicine" and the american medical association says it can be useful for patients and the health care industry as a whole, but the technology does have limits.

House calls may work for minor illnesses, cuts or sprains, but serious medical symptoms such as chest pain or a head injury still require a trip to the emergency room


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