US Medical insurance provider UnitedHealthcare has launched a mobile application meant to improve consumer access to health care.
The new DocGPS application for Apple’s iPhone enables users to tailor their search to their specific health plan and locate nearby doctors, clinics and hospitals within the UnitedHealthcare network using the GPS functionality of iPhone 3G and 3GS. The application can make searches on 23 types of health care facilities and 58 types of physician specialties.
“IPhone is a popular mobile device for consumers, but we're planning to make DocGPS available for BlackBerry devices as well,” said Matthew Yi, director of corporate communications at UnitedHealthcare, Cypress, CA. “UnitedHealthcare believes in making access to health care easy, convenient and useful for consumers, and we believe this product helps us take another innovative step toward that goal.”
UnitedHealthcare provides a full spectrum of consumer-oriented health benefit plans and services to individuals, public sector employers and businesses of all sizes, including more than half of the Fortune 100 companies. After locating a doctor or hospital, the application can then show the office location on a map, provide detailed directions, and enable the user to call the medical professional or facility with a single tap on the search result.
DocGPS is ideal for individuals on the road who are not familiar with health care providers in their area, such as families traveling on vacation or professionals on business trips. DocGPS also works with first-generation iPhones running 2.0 software or higher, enabling users to search UnitedHealthcare’s health plan networks by ZIP code, or city and state.
The application is available for download free of charge from the App Store on iPhone or athttp://www.itunes.com/appstore. Recently a lot of healthcare companies have been turning to mobile and the iPhone specifically. DocGPS is UnitedHealthcare’s latest consumer-friendly innovation to modernize, simplify and make transparent health care information.
An October 2009 study by CTIA-The Wireless Association showed nearly eight in 10 Americans (78 percent) said they are interested in receiving health care services via their mobile devices. “With mobile devices such as iPhones becoming a bigger part of consumers' lives, giving them access to health care via their handheld devices only makes sense,” Mr. Yi said. “We hope all smartphone users would utilize this useful tool, which is available free of charge.”
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