Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Doctor On Demand App Gives $40 Medical Consultations From the Comfort of Your Smartphone

Today, it’s becoming expected that a smartphone should be able to do anything and everything useful, well beyond the gimmick of a few years ago, “There’s an app for that.” For instance, you should be able to open an app, make a video call to a doctor, show and describe what’s wrong with you, and get good advice.

Of the various companies trying to do just that — we’ve also written about American Well — one is launching today called Doctor On Demand with $3 million in seed funding from investors including Venrock, Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, Lerer Ventures, Shasta Ventures and Athena Health CEO Jonathan Bush.

With the Doctor On Demand app for Android and iOS, users can dial up a licensed doctor for a face-to-face appointment at a cost of $40 per 15 minutes. A pool of 1,000 participating doctors are available in shifts from 7 am to 11 pm and licensed to provide advice in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

Doctor On Demand isn’t currently linked to any health insurance plans, but users will be able to pay with their health savings and flexible spending accounts. If they have a good experience, they can also favorite doctors to call back later.

Why do doctors want to participate? “Some are full time, others are picking up shifts,” said co-founder and chief medical officer Pat Basu, MD, a former Stanford physician and White House Fellow. “Physicians like taking care of people.” Doctors take home a cut of $30 per 15 minutes.

Plus, the startup has a celebrity angle. Co-founder Jay McGraw is executive producer of the talk show “The Doctors,” starring his father, Dr. Phil McGraw. The third co-founder, Adam Jackson, is a startup guy, having previously sold companies to Advance Auto Parts and Intuit.

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— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google