Southcoast’s new app allows virtual doctor visits

NEW BEDFORD – A virtual service launched today by Southcoast Health allows patients suffering from minor ailments to visit with doctors via a mobile app.

Southcoast Health on Call provides medical service 24 hours a day by connecting patients with licensed medical providers through the use of the app or its website. After signing up, patients will typically be contacted by a physician within minutes, according to a news release from Southcoast.

Services include diagnoses, recommended treatment or prescriptions, which are sent to the patient’s pharmacy of choice.

The service is open to the public, and requires a brief medical history along with a co-pay.

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“It’s a great service to offer to Southcoast patients as well as people who are not our patients,” Southcoast spokesperson Maureen Boyle said, adding that the app can potentially help summer visitors avoid a time-consuming trip to the doctor.

“This is a real benefit to offer that tourist population… you have access to care by the convenience of your phone,” she said.

Patients can speak with doctors over the phone or by video chat, and invite a friend or relative to virtually attend the appointment as well.

The service is set up to address a number of minor conditions, including sore throat, congestion, allergies, cold and flu symptoms, bronchitis, pink eye, poison ivy, urinary tract or ear infections and sinus problems.

Users who are also Southcoast patients will have visit summaries sent to their primary care physicians.

“Southcoast Health on Call is just another example of our commitment to access, convenience and exceptional health care where and when our patients need it,” said Southcoast president and CEO Keith Hovan. “We welcome and encourage everyone to become a patient and experience the commitment to excellence we achieve every day.”