Speak With Doc: iPhone App Written Review
Would you like to be able to speak with a physician 24/7, getting your medical questions answered as quickly as possible, all from your iOS device? You can probably guess what I will tell you next-there is an app for that! SpeakWithDoc is a brand new app from SpeakWithDoc, Inc., available for free through the iTunes marketplace. It’s primarily a messaging app for use between patients and physicians, although it’s also packed with a few extra features for fun.
SpeakWithDoc allows the user to message their physicians in the Healthcare Connections Delivered service through the app, using a chat interface very similar to that of most text or instant messaging services on iOS devices. After loading the app, you’ll be greeted with two main menu options, along with a set of smaller buttons on the bottom of the screen for further selections. The two main options allow you to either chat with a physician, or take part in the trivia challenge game. Your physician will need to have the physician version of SpeakWithDoc to communicate with you, also a free app.
The only complaints I have about the overall control and options offered in SpeakWithDoc were the occasional app instability when asking questions. At times, after pressing the “send” button, the app would freeze, then crash, leaving the question unsent. Hopefully, an upcoming patch or update will address this issue.
The layout of SpeakWithDoc is simple and easy to navigate. Asking questions is a snap and the chat layout makes it feel like you are speaking with a friend, not some distant info source. The trivia game is also easy to access and play, with a great online high scores system and solid set of question choices. A few of the buttons and color schemes feel a little light on detail, but the overall feeling is of a slick, professional healthcare app with a welcoming interface.
I think most patients would love to be able to talk with a physician about their concerns and complaints on the fly, and SpeakWithDoc makes this process very simple. It’s worth noting the legal disclaimer behind SpeakWithDoc, as the app stresses it is not meant to replace the traditional patient/physician interaction and interview, nor is it meant to be a true medical consultation. Refer to the website’s TOS for the exact terminology used. Instead of relying on the app to be your physician, it is probably a good idea to consider it as a friendly advice tool, certainly not a substitute for your physician, but an additional information source.
The makers of SpeakWithDoc have kept patient privacy in mind by keeping the app secure and promoting it as a being compliant with HIPAA (Health Information Portability and Accountability Act). There’s also a device login to further secure your information, as well as a lock setting to deter unauthorized users. Finally, while user registration is an option, it isn’t required, allowin you to message your physician anonymously, further adding to the privacy of SpeakWithDoc.
Finally, SpeakWithDoc isn’t just about asking all your questions to the physicians in the network. The added Trivia feature is actually a sweet addition, with loads of questions (most multiple choice) of varying degrees of difficult. These questions cover basic health information, lifestyle choices, and recognizing important diseases. Not only can you compete against yourself, but the app ranks the highest players online and shows their score. Even more, the top players get to take part in the interesting rewards system offered through SpeakWithDoc. Overall, SpeakWithDoc is a very solid app helping meet a true need for many consumers. Check it out, ask questions, and tell your friends about this unique new take on healthcare education.
SpeakWithDoc iPhone app requires iOS 4.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
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