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Stat Doctors: Bringing the diagnosis to your laptop

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PHOENIX -

It used to be doctors made house calls. Those days are long gone -- or are they? A Scottsdale company called "Stat Doctors" is pioneering a way for doctors to make virtual house calls.

Stat Doctors demonstrates a modern-day house call on a computer screen.

Patient: "I have just been feeling sick for the last couple days, I think I have a sinus infection, I had one before and this is what it feels like."

The doctor asks what's going on.

Doctor: "Have you had any drainage out of your nose?"

Patient: "Yeah it's kind of greenish in color."

She's diagnosed with sinusitis.

Doctor: "So I just want to make sure I have your right pharmacy here. CVS on Greenfield Road in Mesa?"

He sends in two prescriptions online, and emails you a treatment plan.

Doctor: "Do you have any questions about anything?

Patient: "No I think that will cover it, thanks for your help I really appreciate it."

That's how Stat Doctors works. Its founder says virtual house calls aren't exactly new.

"Telemedicine has been around for a hundred years. What we have done as a company is taken a specific segment and workflow and applied it to a certain use," says Dr. Alan Roga of Stat Doctors.

But Stat Doctors makes it clear it's not for every medical condition.

"Well the more complicated problems, abdominal pain, chest pain, this is not appropriate. That would belong in an emergency room," says Dr. Glen McCracken of Stat Doctors.

Still, for simpler things: bronchitis, sinusitis, urinary tract infections, Stat Doctors says it provides less expensive, more efficient treatment.

The Arizona Commerce Authority likes Stat Doctors' approach. The company won an award of $250,000 through the Commerce Authority's Innovation Challenge Program.

"Companies like Stat Doctors are innovators, fast-growing companies creating jobs. Small businesses are the backbone of economy and future job creators and wealth creators for the economy," says Sandra Watson of Arizona Commerce Authority.

Stat doctors has concentrated so far on laptops, but the company is now working on perfecting its technology on tablets and smart phones

Stat Doctors compares its virtual house calls to online banking or shopping -- technologies that used to make people a little nervous, but now they're commonplace.

"If you are able to get into your doctor, our service is not for you. We are for when you can't get into your primary doctor but need other alternatives. we are a more cost-effective and convenient and quality alternative," says Dr. Roga.

Stat Doctors says its physicians are board-certified and typically respond to calls in five to eight minutes.

Stat Doctors sells its service to companies, and bills companies up to $50 for each patient visit.

Online: www.statdoctors.com 

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