The rapid acceptance and growth of telehealth and telemedicine by patients, physicians, and healthcare organizations probably shouldn’t be a surprise, given the win-win-win nature of the medium. Patients can consult with doctors without leaving their homes and get direct access to specialists during primary care visits. Doctors can help more people more efficiently when patients don’t always require office visits. Hospitals get a respite from constant pressure to add space for consults, waiting rooms, and parking. Even though many hospitals aren’t adopting telemedicine as quickly as they say they’d like, according to a Sage Growth Partners survey, telemedicine’s estimated annual compound growth rate ranges from 18% to 27.5%. We’ve looked at several promising telemedicine applications including teledermatology and low-cost subscription physician access programs in Sweden and the U.S.
Medici, a new telemedicine mobile app with compelling graphics of babies and puppies, wants to be a single platform that brings together all your medical providers. The Medici developers envision you adding your primary care physician, specialists, veterinarian, personal trainers, counselors, massage therapists, and naturopaths: in short, all your family’s health and wellness providers. The app, available free for patients for both iOS and Android devices, has a simple interface that connects to your designated care providers with text messages, emails, images, and video. Medici disclaims providing medical advice or service while at the same time it promises any information uploaded to or passed through the platform is protected in HIPAA-compliant fashion.
The catch with Medici? Well, there are two. First, Medici contains links to third party sites that may or may not have the same privacy controls. Medici may “use your browsing history across participating websites to show you interest-based advertisements on those websites.” Medici also discloses the site does not currently recognize “do not track” settings if users don’t wish to be tracked or receive interest-based ads. Second, Medici charges your providers, with either an 80/20 split revenue-sharing model or a flat monthly fee. Patients pay for services through the Medici platform, with insurance coverage unavailable at this time. Medici takes its cut and then passes on the remainder to your health care providers. Your doctors and vets may have little interest in such an arrangement.
The Medici mobile health and wellness platform’s simplicity, ease of use, and comprehensive care provider inclusiveness are unarguably appealing. Who wouldn’t like doctor and vet contacts to be that easy? Whether this system provides a compelling reason for your health care providers to participate is another question that remains to be answered.