App connects doctors with each other to speed up access for patients

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- When you visit the doctor, they may not know what's wrong with you. But two young entrepreneurs are hoping to change that, using something most of us already have in our pockets.

Dr. Michael Zimmerman in Oakland tries to help his patients understand what might be wrong. But he admits, he doesn't always have all the answers.

"We're able to take care of a majority of things right here in our office," he said. "But there are cases where we need additional advice from specialists."

Sometimes that can take days, weeks, or months. Fortunately, there is a "Remedy" for that.

The Remedy app was developed by sisters Noor and Gina Siddiqui.

"We thought that there is was an opportunity to build technology that would allow primary care doctors to speed up access for their patients," said Noor.

Gina is a medical student in Pennsylvania, while Noor lives in San Francisco. Noor dropped out of college to be one of PayPal founder and billionaire Peter Thiel's fellows. The program pays them to take two years away from college so that they can fully focus on their projects without the time and expense of school.

"Now that every doctor has a smartphone in their pocket, all they have to do is log into Remedy and hit 'on call', and suddenly they become instantly accessible," Noor said.

A doctor logs into the app using their iPhone. They can share pictures or video chat with a specialist while you are still in the room.

"We have a group of specialists across the country who are waiting and available to help that doctor out," said Gina.

Remedy bills insurance for the time the specialist spends on the call. That saves both the doctor and patient time and money, and a primary care doctor can order tests before you ever see the specialists.

Emeryville sports medicine Dr. Warren Strudwick is among the first specialists currently using the app.

"It's easy for a specialists to consult with a primary care doctor has a question," he said. "It's very very convenient for the patient, because the patient can avoid a second visit to the specialists."

Strudwick says the app is a promising and simple way to advance patient care. He adds, "It makes the time you spend with your patients a lot more efficient, and that allows you to give better care."

"It allows me, and subsequently my patients, access to essentially a myriad of specialists at the touch of a button," said Zimmerman.

Remedy is currently in beta testing. It hopes to cure patient wait times soon.

Written and produced by Ken Miguel.
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