LOS ANGELES (KABC) --Many people can't even remember the days when doctors used to make house calls. But now new technology is blending with old fashioned medicine to create a service that makes doctor visits convenient.
Noelle Rox is busy around the clock teaching Pilates and running her own Pacific Palisades studio.
A few weeks ago, a nagging cold kept getting worse, and she didn't want to take time off to see her doctor. Instead, she downloaded a new mobile app called Heal.
Within 15 minutes, Dr. Maysa Alavi arrived to check up on Rox.
For iPhone users, you need to indicate whether an adult or child is in need of a doctor. Similar to the ride-share service Uber, the app finds your location and automatically charges a credit card on file a $99 fee. Within an hour, a doctor shows up at your door.
"So the patient feels comfortable. They get the care that they need, the attention that they deserve, and they're not being exposed to other sick people in the typical waiting room," Alavi said.
Heal is one of the few new applications and services responding to the growing patient dissatisfaction with access and wait times at doctors' offices.
The founder of the app, Dr. Renee Dua, said the idea came about after she waited eight hours in the emergency room with her 1-year-old infant.
"I said to my husband there has to be a better way to do this," she said.
For now, Heal doctors only make house calls on the west side of Los Angeles, but the company plans to expand.
"We can even prescribe medicines. In the future, we'll be able to do things like IV fluids or flu shots or vaccine schedules for children," she said.
Patients have to go to labs for any blood tests or other diagnostic tests such as X-rays. The $99 fee covers the doctor's visit only. So filling prescriptions and lab tests are paid through a patient's insurance or out of pocket.
For Rox, the convenience of seeing a doctor when she wants to is worth it.
"Hit a button and have a doctor here within minutes is priceless," she said.
Dua said she hopes to add home tests such as rapid strep and urinalysis tests within the month. Doctors for the Heal app are on call from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. seven days a week.
For more information about the app, visit getheal.com.