New Hawaii service to patients: Your doctor will see you now ... on your smartphone

Hawaii doctors use new app to continue push into telemedicine

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new medical service just launched that provides remote medical checkups via smartphone or computer.

WePrescribe is the latest move by Hawaii physicians to delve deeper into telemedicine.

"Telemedicine is using technology to help improve access to healthcare," said Dr. Neel Chauhan.

Dr. Cedric Strong and Chauhan started the service two weeks ago and have already attracted a slew of patients because of the speed and convenience.

There is very little waiting time, with call-backs averaging about an hour.

“You book an appointment with a doctor and you’d have a video-consultation through your phone,” Chauhan said.

Access is through a downloadable app. Once in the system, patients answer questions then are paired with one of WePrecribe’s doctors.

"There are a variety of internal medicine specialists, family physicians and nurse practitioners," Chauhan siad.

The online checkups are for common conditions like coughs, colds or urinary tract infections. But WePrescribe also handles cases of erectile dysfunction and hair loss.

Dr. Christopher Flanders, executive director of the Hawaii Medical Association, said about a quarter of Hawaii's 2,800 doctors now practice telehealth.

“Theoretically, all physicians should be able to take advantage of telemedicine in one regard or another,” he said. “For a state like Hawaii, with the challenges that we face geographically, this is tailor made for us.”

He advised that patients interested in telemedicine consultations should first check on a physician's license with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

A WePrescribe checkup costs $49.99. Health insurance doesn’t cover that fee. For prescriptions patients either pay the pharmacy out-of-pocket or through their insurance.

Chauhan said doctor-patient interactions through the app are protected.

"The platform that we use is fully HIPAA compliant. We have lots of protocols in place to make sure that data's kept confidential," he said.

To learn more about the new service go to www.WePrescribe.com.

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