Is there a doctor on board?
It might sound like a line from a Hollywood blockbuster, but in-flight medical emergencies do happen, albeit they are a rarity. Could this app help you in an emergency?
A British healthcare company behind the smartphone app Dr Now, a paid-for service that connects anyone with a real licensed doctor, has made medical history by delivering a consultation with a patient at 35,000 feet.
Businessman Marcus Dolan was on board an Emirates A380 flight travelling long-haul from Heathrow to Dubai and had been suffering from a chest infection. Several hours into his flight, he realised that he’d forgotten to pack the medication prescribed by his doctor. Marcus was able to access a GP through his smartphone by utilising the on-board Wi-Fi. The company arranged for a local pharmacy in Dubai to deliver his medicine.
“I’ve been using the app for a few months since my company signed up as a partner. When I realised I hadn’t packed my medicines. I thought I may as well give it a try. I didn’t expect to be able to speak to Dr La, but I was connected straight away. I told him about my situation and a couple of hours later had an email telling me my medicines were waiting for me at my hotel. It was such a relief, as I wouldn’t have had a clue where to go for medicines in Dubai,” said Marcus.
CEO and founder of Now Healthcare Group Lee Dentith described the latest breakthrough as a major step forward in the company’s ambitions to make primary care accessible worldwide.
Other apps, such as Push Doctor, Doctor On Demand and Babylon, are a growing alternative patients are using while travelling to access medical services at the touch of a button. They are also used at home since doctor’s appointments are becoming harder to get.
Dr Now recently responded to criticism based around the privatisation of the health industry: “We are not replacing GPs. All we are doing is providing a solution for today’s go-to society.”