These 11 Startups Are Improving Your Health Care
Healthcare feels like a bit of a mess in the U.S. right now. Many Americans, regardless of their political ideologies, are unhappy with the rising costs and complications involved with finding (and keeping) the right health care for themselves and their families. Especially for independent contractors and business owners, find the right insurance and affordable care can be an expensive nightmare.
If you’re feeling frustrated by the rising costs—as well as the lack of efficiency and quality—of health care, you’re not alone. Luckily, there are a number of emerging services that exist to make it easier than ever to find the best insurance plans, save money on your prescriptions and medical bills, locate great doctors, and make it easier (and cheaper) to get the care you need. Check out the list below for 10 of the Product Hunt community’s favorite health care apps.
Disclaimer: This article is not a substitute for proper medical care and consulting. It’s simply a list of tools to help you explore ways to make healthcare better and cheaper for you. Make sure you check with professionals before making any medical decisions.
Elite doctors at your fingertips. Made affordable by AI.
Have you ever avoided going to the doctor because you didn’t want to spend $100+ to have him or her tell you to “take some aspirin and get some rest?” Now you can still get answers to your most pressing health questions with greater ease (and at a cheaper cost). Remedy is an app that enables you to consult doctors about any medical concern you have—from a burn to diabetes to interpreting test results from a recent doctor’s visit. This app exists based on the premise that most medical problems can be solved by talking to a doctor without having to go into an office for a visit.
Each Remedy “visit” is $30, making it affordable for you to stay on top of your health without ever having to leave your home. Whether you need to get a prescription, a doctor’s referral, a lab test, or just want to have a private conversation about your health with a professional, you can do it all through Remedy.
Note: This app is currently available in California only.
Get medical records online — from any doctor or hospital.
It’s not exactly an easy process to gather all of your medical documents from various different hospitals and specialists. PatientBank is solving the problem by gathering medical records on behalf of individuals and businesses. Rather than faxing in documents or calling hospitals to make your request for files, now you can request your files online and receive them in about 10 days (approximately three times faster than sending in an old school request). To date, PatientBank has collected more than 10,000 medical records from over 2,300 medical institutions.
Requesting medical records is simple: create an account and enter the information of the person you want to request records for—whether yourself or a family member. Then, add all of the healthcare facilities you’ve been to: primary doctors, testing facilities, hospitals, specialists, and more. PatientBank sends requests on your behalf, and the facilities will send the company your records via fax or their online portal. The company digitizes everything so you can easily check and share your medical records going forward. PatientBank is HIPAA compliant, so you can rest assured that your information will remain secure.
Apple Store meets Doctor’s office.
Forward is a new kind of health membership. As a member, you get paired with a world-class physician who uses special technology like body scanners, genetic testing, real-time blood testing, and Forward software to give you a complete picture of your health. You can use this service for primary care, men’s and women’s health, nutrition, and health coaching.
One of the best parts? You pay a monthly membership fee ($149/month), and don’t get billed by your insurance company. If Forward ever does recommend a specialist service or prescription that they don’t carry in-house, you’ll be the first to know. In other words, you don’t have to worry about unexpected bills in the mail from your insurance provider. Fun fact: The Forward app is on Jack Dorsey’s home screen. :-)
Note: This service is currently available in the San Francisco Bay Area only.
On-demand doctors to your home in under 60 minutes.
If you’ve ever felt sick and didn’t want to leave your house to see a doctor, Heal is making that a possibility. You can use your insurance plan (via Aetna, Anthem, Blue Shield, Cigna and UnitedHealthcare) or just pay a $99 fee for your appointment. Schedule a doctor house call for a time that’s convenient for you—or get one in two hours or less.
This service is best used for minor illnesses, such as colds, coughs, fever, flu, migraines, rashes, ear infections, sore throats, and sports injuries. Or, use it for wellness services, like: well-baby exams, annual physicals, flu shots, and sports/school physical exams. This is an ideal solution for the busy family that wants a more personal health care experience for basic checkups and minor illnesses.
Note: This app is currently available in select cities in California only.
Smart, hassle-free health care.
Carbon Health is an interesting new service that is attempting a fresh take on healthcare. This app connects you with Carbon’s network of primary healthcare providers, both in and out of the doctor’s office. Using the app, you can chat directly with doctors and book same-day appointments online. They currently accept insurance from most major healthcare providers, as well as Medicare. You can schedule a conversation or in-person appointment with a doctor for immediate, ongoing, or preventative care, as well as vaccinations and lab tests.
Once you’ve consulted with a doctor, you can use the app to follow up on treatment plans, fill subscriptions, make payments, and more. It’ll be cool to see how a service like this expands and changes the medical industry in the future.
Note: Carbon Health is currently only available in San Francisco, CA.
Make decisions about your healthcare with greater confidence.
The goal of Amino is to help you take the guesswork out of healthcare. If you’re looking for a specialist to help you with a new condition, it can be daunting to find just the right fit. For example, if you’re looking for a specialist in the New York City area to help you with a skin condition, like eczema, Amino would search its database of close to 1 million doctors and practices to find more than 2,000 results of dermatologists that would be a good fit:
For each healthcare provider, you can see if they are in the top 1% in their practice, insurance carriers they accept, cost estimates, contact information, and an easy way to book directly through the app. If you’re looking for the best doctor you can find based on your specific needs, Amino is an incredible health care resource.
A chatbot that helps diagnose your symptoms.
Buoy Health is an artificial intelligence tool that is meant to replicate a conversation you’d be able to have with your doctor using real data from almost 20,000 clinical papers covering 5 million patients. Instead of using a service like WebMD to try and self-diagnose your own condition (hey, we’ve all been there), Buoy will pick 1 of 30,000 possible questions to ask you based on which one (statistically speaking) will most reduce the uncertainty of your condition. It then delivers 1–3 possible diagnoses, and gives you guidance on the best next steps.
The company ran a study and had 500 patients use Buoy in the waiting room to see their own doctors. They then compared the doctor’s diagnosis with the app’s diagnosis and found that the app agreed with the doctors 91% of the time—not bad at all. If the app detects that you may have a life-threatening, urgent illnesses, it will automatically triage you to the emergency room. Founder Andrew Le says, “To the larger point about checking symptoms online being unsafe, we completely agree…We’re not here to replace doctors, we’re here to replace the danger of Dr. Google.” If you’re going to self-diagnose before heading straight to a doctor (like most of us do these days), try this tool for a more accurate diagnosis.
Instant, free answers from 100K U.S. doctors over Messenger.
Want instant, free answers over Facebook Messenger from over 100,000 doctors in the U.S.? Try HealthTap. Get the answers to your basic health questions for free. You’ll get trusted responses, curated news and research, and doctor-created checklists to help you take charge of your health.
You can also use the HealthTap Prime membership for unlimited live consultations with physicians via video, voice, or text message. Use this service to get prescriptions and personalized health checklists. Finally, check out HealthTap Concierge to connect with specific doctors directly for a low, per-consult fee.
The easiest way to get exactly the health insurance you need.
Finding the right healthcare option can be like solving a perplexing calculus equation — especially if you’re a freelancer or business owner and you’re paying for your own care out of pocket. Do you ever wonder why the entire process is so complicated? Why can’t health insurance companies just speak in normal terms?!
Impact Health is here to help you make sense of it all. All you’ve got to do is enter a few pieces of information about you (age, marital status, location, and expected number of doctor visits next year), and voila! Impact Health will churn out several of the best options — including their recommendation for “smartest value.” This is such an easy way to find the right healthcare plan for you. If you don’t have on yet, or think you might be overpaying, give this tool a whirl. You won’t regret it.
Helping independent workers find health coverage.
Stride Health is another super easy way to find the right healthcare plan for you. All you have to do is submit a handful of basic inputs like: your age, gender, zip code, marital status, recurring conditions, and ongoing subscriptions. Once you’re done, you’ll get a list of top recommended healthcare plans that fit your needs and your budget. Read more about why each plan might be the best for you, including information about the total cost per year, out of pocket estimates, prescription drug costs, emergency care, and out-of-network fees.
Finds mistakes on medical bills, saves ~$1000/year.
If you’ve ever received a medical bill, saw the due amount, and almost fainted from the cost, Remedy is about to become your new guide. Often, we receive complicated medical bills with a list of charges that we don’t really understand–and we don’t realize that the bill is frequently negotiable. Remedy finds mistakes or savings on 70% of medical bills, and helps the average user save around $1,000 annually.
All you have to do is upload, text, or email your medical bills to Remedy. The service then automatically identifies special savings, and a medical billing specialist will negotiate on your behalf. The company’s service fee is 20% of what you save, capped at $99 per visit so there are so surprises. If you don’t save, you don’t pay a fee—simple as that. Give this tool a whirl the next time you get a big medical bill in the mail.
The healthcare industry has a long way to go before it’s as efficient and fair as it could be—especially for patients. The emergence of many digital and in-person health services are paving the way for better health care in the future. If you want to explore more of the health care tools available to you, check out the full healthcare collection here on Product Hunt: