HealthTap SOS brings real-time consultations in disaster scenarios

healthtap sos health tap mobile doctors app
A disaster, whether natural or not, can hit at any second. Access to doctors and proper medical care can be limiting, which is an understatement to say the least.

That’s where HealthTap SOS comes in. It’s a new service that connects multinational corporations, governments, and insurance companies with top doctors in real time in the event of a crisis that necessitates medical care.

HealthTap already offers a service through which users can ask for medical-related advice or even video chat with doctors for $100 a month, and there are a slew of apps and services like that, such as the Google-backed Doctor on Demand, and Heal. The company announced HealthTap SOS recently at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

The components that came together to create HealthTap SOS actually emerged from a recent natural disaster that took more than 400 lives in south India. Fortune 500 company Flex, a customer of HealthTap, has a large number of its employees based in Chennai. Flex asked the consultation service company if it could provide assistance to its employees in the region, and HealthTap delivered. The company provided employees with advice on how to react to the situation and how to help others, and offered tips on how to mitigate the spread of bacteria such as leptospira, which is found in pools of contaminated water.

Realizing the benefit of such a service in natural disasters, HealthTap used its own Health Operating System (HOPES), to create HealthTap SOS, a mobile app and Web service that offers access to top doctors; real-time health alerts via push, SMS, and email notifications; a feed of  insights from doctors answering frequently asked questions; and more.

HealthTap says the consultations come from doctors spread across 141 specialties, including mental health experts, and users have 24/7 access via video, voice, and text chat. The service lets these “population managers” such as governments and multinational corporations send critical announcements to users, and tells them where their members are, and what they need. It also provides analytics so researchers can view and analyze data in post-disaster scenarios.

The company has plans in place to assist its clients — whether governments or corporations — in the event of natural disasters like earthquakes and floods, or other crises such as terrorist attacks.

HealthTap SOS isn’t for the average person — the company is selling the service to corporations, governments, and militaries. HealthTap’s head of marketing and communications, Jarod Hector, said HealthTap SOS “should cost population managers 25 cents per member, per month. This is of course dependent on the population size and risk profile.”

The service is available on Android and iOS and on the Web.

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