What is HealthTap?
Member (basic): Free
Prime unlimited plan: $99 per month plus $10 for additional family members.
Concierge: $49 per consult or $44 per consult if also subscribed to HealthTap Prime.
Have you ever arrived at a doctor’s appointment early or on time only to sit in the waiting room well past your scheduled appointment? Or have you ever experienced the unpleasantness of waiting hours in an ER or urgent care facility for a medical condition you were unsure about, only to be sent home with a big bill and the doctor having done little for you?
HealthTap is a quick and easy solution to interacting with a doctor at any time of the day from the comfort of your own home. Using the HealthTap app on your phone or tablet, or by going on their website, you can talk or Skype directly with a doctor. There are thousands of doctors available to answer questions and help in educating people who are looking for medical answers.
Often, we turn to the internet for answers to our medical questions, and it can be difficult to find reliable and relatable advice. Search results about a condition could be vast, with varying possibilities ranging from mild to terrifying. In contrast, HealthTap has a wealth of reliable information provided by doctors themselves.
The company researched what people really wanted out of health care, and they came to three main conclusions. People wanted a trusted source for health and wellness advice (from doctors), immediate help, and personalized health advice (which is provided through HealthTap Premium) rather than general information.
The idea is that people can skip the frustrating waiting rooms, copays, or high medical expenses and have quick access to a doctor from almost anywhere.
The company’s goal is to help connect people with expert doctors faster and more efficiently with the desire of people living happier and healthier lives. They’ve worked hard over the past several years setting up a database filled with information and knowledge written and agreed upon by thousands of physicians. The outcome is having trusted medical information that is added to on a daily basis made available for free to users of the HealthTap website or app.
If you have a medical question or are seeking knowledge about a condition or illness, through HealthTap, using video, text, or voice, there’s 24/7 immediate access to over 107,000 doctors.
Programs and Services
The various options of treatment, based on a person’s symptoms, can range from doctors encouraging people to read information related to their symptoms, setting up a live virtual consult with a doctor, scheduling an in-person office visit with a specialist, and even instructing the person to seek urgent care.
There are three different ways to go about using this service; as a member, prime subscriber, or concierge. The focus of HealthTap (basic) is to make educational information available to members. “Medicine” (doctor consults, treating of illnesses, diagnosis, prescribed medications) isn’t practiced here because this part of HealthTap is meant to be used as a learning tool. “Medicine” can be practiced in HealthTap Premium Services, within Prime and Concierge.
(When HeathTap refers to “member,” they are speaking of anyone who goes on their free app or website and creates a free account. A “member” is someone who does not pay for any of HealthTap’s services.)
As a member, you can browse through millions of questions already asked by other people and read the answers provided by doctors. The abundant medical database is free to use and full of reliable information.
When members submit questions, they should be general in situation, illustration, medical conditions and symptoms. These questions are for informational and educational purposes and shouldn’t be personalized with specific facts aimed at an individual. (Specific personal questions may be asked when using HealthTap Premium. There’s no formal medical diagnosis, treatment, or prescriptions given in HealthTap basic.)
After creating a free private profile, you can safely store, easily update, and manage your personal health information. Doctors can look at your medical history, allergies, and more if, in the future, you decide to have a patient-doctor consult using HealthTap Premium.
Members can ask anonymous health questions for free and receive answers from doctors, subscribe to wellness and living tips, news, and use checklists to live healthily or manage a condition.
HealthTap Premium plans—(Paid)
(Unlimited plan: $99 per month plus $10 mo per additional family members.)
Prime subscribers can access unlimited live doctor consults worldwide—24/7 through video, voice, or text using the web or a mobile device. They’ll have personalized checklists, tips, news, treatment, priority text answers from doctors, referrals, prescriptions, lab orders, and can share photos, video attachments, test results, or other documents with a US licensed physician.
Prime subscribers have access to everything included in free HealthTap (basic) and the health database created by doctors. Questions are prioritized with a question and answer service where one can ask long detailed inquiries anonymously if there is a desire for confidentiality. An official report is given after consults, which can be printed and passed on to your primary care physician.
There are specific physicians that do primary-care consults in the Prime paid program. These type of patient-doctor consults are for primary care and is not a specialist consult. Medical concerns having to do with specialists are available through Concierge.
In this service, a consult is arranged using an “on call” model where you’re connected with the first available physician. The option to select a specific doctor for a consult is available, including specialists, but this is part of the Concierge service. If you are operating out of a Prime subscription and then make selections that direct you to the Concierge service, you will be charged the additional per-consult fees for those services.
So, you can start a search using your Prime subscription where you can move on from the on-call doctor option and select a specific doctor or specialty. This will direct you to doctor consult options in the Concierge subscription. Before starting any Concierge consults, pricing information will be made available. You can decide to pursue that specific doctor or specialist consult if you choose not to use the Prime “on call” doctor.
Prime subscriptions don’t include or cover costs that may come with recommendations or treatments having to do with a consult. Examples of this are; prescription costs, lab tests, services or treatments, devices, or referrals of non-HealthTap Prime consults (having a consultation with a doctor who does not participate in HealthTap’s services).
($49 per consult or $44 per consult if also subscribed to HealthTap Prime.)
Concierge is designed around an actual existing physician-patient relationship with your doctor. It includes all the perks that a prime subscriber has and the ability to have a consult without having to go in for a physical appointment. You’ll get treatment, prescriptions, referrals, lab orders, checklists, and tips between office visits with your existing physician, and get follow-up reminders for helpful exercises to reach personal goals.
A personal relationship can be developed with your regular primary care physician and specialist doctors through video, voice, or text chat for a cost similar to a normal office visit or co-pay. Access to your doctors’ virtual practice using a computer or mobile device is easy and private. Between virtual consults, you are able to stay connected with your personal doctor. There are physicians from all 50 states in more than 100 specialties for which you can quickly get multiple opinions for past diagnoses.
Prescriptions and Lab Tests
Even with all the perks of HealthTap’s Prime and Concierge services, these programs are not meant to replace regular visits with your primary care doctor, in-person health care interactions, or health insurance. There are limitations on different prescriptions and the length of time they’re prescribed. It’s not an absolute you’ll get an order for a prescription or lab test from any given consult. Your doctor can order a prescription or lab test if they think it’s necessary to treat the ailment discussed in the virtual consult.
HealthTap is not currently set up to do lab orders for people outside of the US, and you may only gain a prescription recommendation. Quest Diagnostics is currently the company used in doing lab tests, and there are some US states that do not have access to Quest Diagnostics.
HealthTap’s Terms state that, The following medication categories cannot be prescribed or recommended in virtual consults on HealthTap: prescriptions for narcotics or DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) controlled substances category I-IV medications, lifestyle medications (such as weight loss, hair loss medication, or erectile dysfunction), and US – state regulated medications. It may be possible to get prescriptions for some psychiatric medications in HealthTap Concierge virtual consults, but doctors cannot prescribe psychiatric medications in HealthTap Prime virtual consults.
There are three kinds of virtual consults on HealthTap—Introductory Consult, Standard Consult, and Second Opinion Consult. With these three options, you may choose to visit your existing personal doctor in their office or have a virtual consult through text, voice, or video during their available service hours on the HealthTap Premium.
An Introductory Consult is an initial step in communicating with a new doctor, one whom you have yet to become a patient of through HealthTap. To become a new patient for some physicians on HealthTap, the doctor may need to schedule you for an in-person appointment at their physical office. In this consult, you are not meant to receive care from the doctor.
You will be given information and have the opportunity to get to know the doctor as you decide whether they can help with your health concern—in person or by virtual consult.
In a Standard Consult, doctors who have accepted you as a patient within their physical office can provide care. You can give a medical history, have an examination (per the limitations of virtual care), receive an assessment from a physician, and get a confirmed treatment plan by your consulting doctor.
Second Opinion Consults is when a doctor gives you information concerning a health issue or a second opinion about a previous diagnosis. Other care, new treatment, and new diagnosis are not options in this consult.
*When preparing to have a paid consult, make sure to have a reliable internet connection or reception. It can be a little dicey as far as refunds go if a consult gets disconnected.
The HealthTap App and Website has information added to it daily with tips and checklists to keep track of your health goals wherever you are on a mobile device. You’re able to follow and read what doctors are saying about topics relevant to your personal interests. Physicians write about news and current events in medicine or recommend health and wellness apps. You can read through thousands of reviews given by doctors about different medications and procedures concerning the effectiveness of drugs and treatments. HealthTap’s free app is available for IOS and Android devices.
Doctors credentials, education, awards, and reviews are made available to provide the confidence you are receiving quality health care. The physicians are licensed in the US, board-certified, and qualified to treat an extensive variety of conditions through virtual consults. They review your health records to help you in a more specific way, as they’ll know about allergies, past or current conditions, family medical history, etc.
HealthTap is not meant to be used in the case of an emergency. The treatment provided during a patient-doctor consult is focused on minor non-emergency primary care. If you are unsure whether a medical condition constitutes an emergency, communicating with a doctor through a consult can verify whether hospital care is necessary. Call emergency responders with an actual medical emergency.
HealthTap uses 128-bit encryption, the same as highly secure banks. TRUSTe and VeriSign monitor and verify their security practices and they are supported by RSA Security to ensure all personal health information is stored in a secure HIPAA-compliant environment.
HealthTap has a free personal Artificial Intelligence-powered “physician” called Dr. A.I.♥ that can understand a person’s symptoms and ensure an immediate doctor prescribed course of action. Interacting with people in an empathetic, patient, polite, and compassionate way, this program is available on HealthTap’s app and website.
From the unlimited data of personal experience and knowledge provided by thousands of doctors, Dr. A.I♥ has access to this clinical database and can use a person’s situation and context, as a real doctor would, to triage and sort out millions of people throughout the world and direct them to the necessary level of treatment and care by an actual physician. Dr. A.I.♥ uses the person’s health profile to determine the likely cause of symptoms.
For more information, click on “HealthTap’s FAQ’s” to find answers to the questions below;
What can I do on HealthTap?
Who are the doctors in the HealthTap network?
What should I expect in a virtual consult?
What kinds of health issues can your doctors help me with?
Can I request prescriptions and lab test?
What about privacy and security?
Why should I talk to a doctor online?
What happens if I am not satisfied with my consult?
How do I pay?
There are other companies like Doctors on Demand, Teladoc, LiveHealth Online, and American Well that have websites or apps to connect a person with a doctor through text, voice, or video. These services are used for primary care and non-emergency medical issues.
Because these companies are strictly patient-doctor consults, there are more state restrictions placed on them, and they may not operate in all US states. HealthTap is available anywhere as it’s focused on being an educational tool.
HealthTap has gone the extra mile by providing a medical database filled with years of knowledge produced by doctors—free for use by its users. HealthTap makes it possible for you to learn about medical conditions, ask questions, read reviews written by doctors about medications and procedures, and to feel confident knowing the information is reliable and comes straight from the physicians themselves.
The fees for prime and concierge are similar to regular office visits and insurance copays. Through HealthTap, you have the ability to quickly connect with a physician without having to drive to the doctor’s office or sit around in the waiting room. For more information, or if you’d like to start HealthTap’s prime or concierge programs click here.
I hope you found this review helpful. What are your thoughts about HealthTap? Please leave comments or questions below!
1) HealthTap Account Basics: Free and Premium Services. HealthTap Quality Care. https://healthtap.desk.com/customer/en/portal/articles/1448862-healthtap-account-basics-free-and-premium-services. Updated February 9, 2017. Accessed May 8, 2017.
2) HealthTap launches Dr. A.I.–Meet your new, personal AI-powered physician. HealthTap. https://medium.com/@HealthTap/dr-a-i-80b4cf06be30. Published Dec 16, 2016. Accessed May 8, 2017.
3) HealthTap’s Premium Features and Plans. HealthTap Quality Care. https://healthtap.desk.com/customer/portal/articles/1537928-healthtap-s-premium-features-and-plans. Updated February 8, 2017. Accessed May 8, 2017.
5) What We Make: Members: HealthTap Concierge. HealthTap. https://www.healthtap.com/what_we_make/members/concierge. Published 2017. Accessed May 8, 2017.
6) What We Make: Members. HealthTap. https://www.healthtap.com/what_we_make/members. Published 2017. Accessed May 8, 2017.
7) What We Make: Members: HealthTap Prime. HealthTap. https://www.healthtap.com/what_we_make/members/prime. Published 2017. Accessed May 8, 2017.
8) What We Make: Our Story. HealthTap. https://www.healthtap.com/what_we_make/story. Published 2017. Accessed May 8, 2017.
9) Who We Are: Mission. HealthTap. https://www.healthtap.com/who_we_are. Published 2017. Accessed May 8, 2017.