One Medical Group enhanced its digital health app so that members can now use the mobile app to obtain expert evaluation and treatment for common dermatological issues, without an appointment.
In addition, members can use the app to receive treatment for ailments such as seasonal allergies and urinary tract infections (UTIs), plus schedule same-day appointments, and request prescription renewals.
"Broadly, mobile technology has enabled people to begin to take greater control of their own health," Kimber Lockhart, chief technology officer at One Medical Group, told eWEEK. "Specifically, this means patients can gather biometric information via digital health apps, including exercise, food, and activity tracking, and then display this data in some interesting way."
Since its release to early testers, One Medical’s digital dermatology service has been used to treat a variety of conditions, ranging from contact dermatitis and poison oak, to alopecia and psoriasis.
"In addition to ensuring the app is HIPAA- compliant, we take additional precautions to protect the security and privacy of our patients," Lockhart said. "For example, all app data is encrypted on the devices, so that whenever a user locks their phone their data is inaccessible to anyone else. Our members get a lot of value from our virtual care services, so we’ll continue to add functionality to the app and enhance the ways members can interact with us virtually."
The release also includes a Vaccine Tracker feature that enables members to access their vaccine history from their phone.
The Digital Dermatology feature in One Medical’s mobile app will allow patients to evaluate conditions remotely, without the need for an office visit in many cases.
Members answer a few questions about their symptoms, take a few photos of their skin issue, and submit the images for clinical review.
Within 24 hours, One Medical’s dermatology team will respond to the patient with a recommended course of action, and the company noted the services would be free to all One Medical members for a limited period of time.
"Mobile apps can gather potentially meaningful biometric data in a more continuous and complete manner than ever before, allow providers to view and contextualize this data with patients, and promise to engage patients in successfully managing health conditions," Lockhart said. "Further, apps can provide unprecedented access to quality health care, now truly centered around the patient — at the time the patient needs it, where the patient needs it."
Lockhart explained that between greater access and engaging data, health IT organizations are better positioned to meet patients on their terms and hopefully enable patients to achieve greater health.