HealthTap will work best for those on the go who want to get quick but accurate info from real doctors through mobile apps like the Apple Watch. For those who want more detailed answers from specialists, Doctors on Demand will be a better choice since they have board certified doctors according to the site. ZocDoc is what you want if you want to see a doctor in person since it lets you search for doctors and book appointments for free.
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Three different apps available through the Apple Watch.
Get access to on-call doctors around the clock 24/7.
Best for: Those who want round the clock access to licensed doctors.
Get your first visit for free if the code is around.
Access board-certified physicians for help.
Best for: Those who would rather talk to some of the most specialized doctors in their field.
Use search tool to find a nearby doctor.
Book appointments from a nearby doctor right online.
Best for: Patients who want to meet a doctor in person.
It’s now possible, thanks to modern tech advancements, to gain a considerable amount of medical help and advice straight through the Internet instead of needing to only ever get help from doctors in person. Here are a few ways to do this, including a look at the pros and cons of each.
Healthtap will immediately tell you how many doctors there are online that you can get help from right next to the green dot at the top of the page. You can use it to get instant advice from doctors through mobile or other means wherever you are. There are more than 72,000 doctors you can connect to online.
- iWatch Compatibility-You can get a number of different apps that work with the Apple Watch. There’s the Doc Now app that lets you tap the red circle on your watch to instantly get access to a doctor at $3 per minute. Or you can get the HealthTap app, which gives you access to your membership account. There’s also an app for doctors to use so they can help people on the go.
- 24/7 Doctor Consults-If you become a member, you can access a doctor whenever you want, around the clock. These are U.S. licensed doctors who are on-call.
- Live Voice or Video Chat-You can choose to do a live video chat with your doctor if that’s what you want.
Doctor on Demand
Doctor on Demand uses board certified physicians that you can access for help. This is definitely an advantage over other services since it implies a higher area of specialization and expertise.
- First Visit Free Deals-This may not always be available, and you do have to enter a code for it, but you can get your first visit free of charge while the promotion lasts.
- Mobile App Compatibility-You can get the app at the App Store for Apple, at Google Play for Android, or just through the web. So you can use it on Android, iPhone, iPad and anything with basic web access.
- Psychologists and Specialists Available for Timed Sessions-If you need a specialist not covered under GP, there are a few plans available for this through Doctor on Demand. They have lactation specialists, for example, that go for 25-minute sessions. Or you could see a psychologist and pay by the session as well.
ZocDoc uses technology to help you find doctors in person, it’s not a remote service like the others.Searching and booking are both pretty easy to use, with a largely intuitive system including a big green “Book Online” button so you know right where to go for each doctor. It does seem like ZocDoc isn’t available everywhere, though, many of their doctors seem concentrated in Maryland, for some reason.
- Free Searches from the Main Page-The search tool on the main page is easy to use since all you need to do is key in your zip code, choose your insurance, and choose the specialty you want such as psychiatry, GP, or just about anything else.
- Varied Search Parameters-Once you put a search through, you’ll get a list of who is the closest to you based on your search parameters. On this new page, you can also select gender, language, and more specific visit reason as well. Examples include anxiety, eating disorder, and so on, just under “psychiatry.”
- Book Online-Once you see a doctor you like, all you have to do is hit the green “Book Online” button underneath their profile. You’ll see their next most recent appointment availability right on the list page as well.
Head to Head
The cost to use the service is usually around $99 per month if you want to be a member. AS a member, you get extras such as access to the HealthTap+ app. Otherwise, you can use the DocNow app which is $3 per minute.
The cost for Doctor on Demand is $40 per visit for medical and pediatrics, or $50 for a psychology session that runs for 25 minutes. If you want 50 minutes, it’s $95. They even have some specific specialists like lactation consultants which is $40 per 25-minute session.
ZocDoc is completely free to use for patients. IT appears they make money on the other end, from the doctors, essentially. The doctors on the site pay a subscriptions service in order to be listed there. It helps them fill last minute cancelations.
Features and Reputation
Healthtap gets reasonably good ratings online from sites such as Trustpilot, where it has a rating of 8.3 out of 10 with 27 reviews. It even gets good ratings from sites that review what it’s like to work there. Many other reviews online, such as Wired, help to solidify HealthTap as of having a reasonably good reputation. The service has strong features like compatibility with Apple watch and video conferencing. It looks like you actually can get free answers to your questions through the site, but there’s a limit of 150 characters and a response time of 1-2 days if you aren’t a member, as opposed to 1-2 minutes. You also often have to pay an extra fee if you want more time than the basic answer.
Doctors on Demand uses board certified physicians whereas HealthTap uses licensed. This means that Doctors on Demand uses doctors who have more credentials. The app also has some seriously high customer ratings on Google Play and the iTunes store with the range running in 4.5 stars and higher with thousands of votes.
ZocDoc has features related to booking doctors that are neat to you, instead of doing any kind of remote consult. The reviews for them online determining their online reputation are largely positive, in the 3 to 4 stars out of 5 range. This is going to vary widely though, because the only thing ZocDoc does is list doctors for you and help you book them. Everything else depends on the doctor you choose. It always pays to do your own research on doctors, after all.