Every day millions of people search the internet looking for answers to health related questions. Some of them may be mere curiosity others are quite serious, HealthTap provides access to a dedicated group of over 35,000 health professionals ready to assist you in getting the care you need. On the home page you may follow the feed of current topics, get healthy tips, find out about medications and procedures or look up specific symptoms. You’ll find in the setting a place you can create your health profile including basic personal information, emergency contact, insurance information, medications, allergies and any symptoms you may be suffering from. There’s even an option to upload any health files you have to your profile. This personal information is kept strictly private using SSL encryption. You can ask your questions anonymously and know that none of your personally identifiable information will show on your public profile.
I have to be honest, I was a bit skeptical of a doctor’s network where physicians may be trying to increase their practice by collecting “followers” or boosting their “DocScore”. While that may actually be a benefit for them I never felt like that was their focus. When I asked a question on the forum I noticed that I could get faster answers for a 99¢ charitable donation and I thought, “ok here’s where they get you”. So, I entered my question for the standard, free response expecting to have a reply sometime in the next day or two. I was surprised that within 6 minutes I had 2 responses. I was impressed to see that they didn’t encourage self-diagnosis, but offered suggestions to look for serious conditions and encouraged seeking a physician for accurate diagnosis. In this case I asked about my daughters ankle and I appreciated that they suggested a specific speciality, even though it wasn’t their own. Had I chosen to, there is also an option to message a doctor directly, but there is a fee for that.
I really appreciated that I can view a physicians credentials. By tapping on a doctor’s name I’m directed to their home page that shows their biography, special honors, details about their practice, and their education.
I feel that HealthTap can be a great resource for my family. I feel confident that using this app I can find answers to simple health questions and find direction for more serious concerns.