App connects teachers to doctors

Ailing employees of the Santa Rosa County school district may be able to see a doctor from the comfort of their bed thanks to a new telemedicine app for phone or tablet.

The district has incorporated the Healthiest You app into their standard health plan allowing patients to call, Skype or Facetime a doctor to diagnose a variety of ailments without having to go to an urgent care or make an appointment. School district Risk Manager Pam Smith said the app could be rolled out as early as Oct. 1.

When a user calls through the app, they will speak with a US certified doctor within 20-30 minutes of their initial call school health plan agent Mike Carraway said. For many illnesses doctors can even give a prescription over the phone.

The purpose of the 24/7 service is to reduce those after-hours emergency visits Smith said.

“Its things like allergies and bronchitis, strep throat, pink eye, earache, UTIs, upper respiratory infections and that type of thing,” Smith said. “Those are the most common reasons people are showing up after hours to your urgent care and emergency rooms. Those are some of the key illnesses they target and take care of.”

Carraway said once the system is linked to Blue Cross, the districts medical insurer, users will be able to check deductibles, find doctors that accept their insurance and compare prescription costs. They can even locate veterinarians.

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