Monday, December 21, 2009

Chat Reference for Physicians

For decorative purposes only

$45 will get you 10 minutes.

Link to December 21 Impact Lab post, "NowClinic: Virtual House Call To Go Nationwide in 2010". (via Slashdot)

Excerpt: Americans could soon be able to see a doctor without getting out of bed, in a modern-day version of the house call that takes place over the Web.

OptumHealth, a division of UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest health insurer, plans to offer NowClinic, a service that connects patients and doctors using video chat, nationwide next year. It is introducing it state by state, starting with Texas, but not without resistance from state medical associations.

Without getting out of bed? Who's doing NowClinic's market research?

For now, I don't think state medical associations have much to worry about.

For a reality check, see the May 7, 2009, Business Week article, "Growing Pains for Online Video Chat: Seesmic, TokBox, and other startups in this area of social media must contend with issues of personality and, especially, privacy".

Ultimately, a good social app is driven by a strong sense of accessibility, simplicity of use, and even privacy. Otherwise users get turned off. That's what happened to Seesmic; it had a hard time retaining early adopters and didn't grow beyond a core user base. Seesmic peaked at 150,000 monthly unique visitors in October 2008 before dropping to its current level of 92,000. Another startup, 12 Seconds, was heralded by tech pundits as the Twitter of video but suffered a similar fate. It's now nothing more than a micro social video community.

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