Jay McGraw is cofounder and chairman of the Board of Doctor on Demand. Jay is also CEO of Los Angeles-based Stage 29 Productions and the Emmy Award-winning creator and executive producer of The Doctors. Jay is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and has written six books throughout his career that focus on teens. Previously he was a contributor on the television show Dr. Phil and the executive producer of its CBS primetime specials. Jay holds a law degree from Southern Methodist University and a psychology degree from University of Texas.
Adam Jackson started his career as a software engineer and started his first company while studying Computer Science at Vanderbilt University. Doctor On Demand is his third venture-backed company. His first was acquired by Intuit (INTU) in 2006 and second by Advance Auto Parts (AAP) in 2011. At Doctor On Demand he obsesses over creating the best possible user experience for both patients and doctors. Droid Report recently interviewed the founders about their latest venture, discussed views on healthcare, insights on mobile, digital health and more.
Jay McGraw and Adam Jackson, Founders of Doctor on Demand
Droid Report: Hello Jay, can you tell us more about your current role(s)?
Jay McGraw: I am one of the co-founders of Doctor on Demand and currently serve as the chairman of the Board. My role as chairman is primarily to help get the word out about the service. We do so by demonstrating how the app works on my show, The Doctors, and my Dad’s show, The Dr. Phil Show. We actually have one of the members of the studio audience use Doctor on Demand to call a doctor during the show. It’s a cool way to get the word out and show people at home how the service works!
Droid Report: Could you share some insight on Doctor on Demand’s upcoming initiatives for 2014?
Jay McGraw: We launched our service a little over a month ago across 15 states and the response has been incredible from both patients and doctors. Additional state rollout and perfecting the product are huge priorities for this year. To date we are live in 24 states and hope to be in all 50 by Spring. We’re also working with insurance companies to make Doctor on Demand a part of regular benefits plans.
Droid Report: Telemedicine and Android smartphones can save costs and increase patient satisfaction. A virtual visit from a patient can save an average of $88 per meeting which is a substantial reduction versus meeting in person. What are your personal thoughts on viewing telemedicine as a great sustainability model for the industry?
Jay McGraw: Virtual visits can eliminate time, cost and worry for a patient. It has been easier than expected to get doctors on board to the service because they see the long-term value in what we’re doing. Doctor on Demand keeps patients out of the ER/urgent care centers – which to your point saves a significant amount of money.
Droid Report: What are your thoughts on healthcare’s future?
Jay McGraw: I think we will see an increased adoption of telemedicine and virtual doctor visits. There is a big problem in the U.S. with access to doctors and rising healthcare costs. Speaking with some of our doctors you hear about problems with overcrowded ERs. Many of the patients treated in the ER/urgent care centers are in fact non-emergent cases that can be diagnosed and treated with a service like Doctor on Demand.
Droid Report: How would you describe the overall patient experience using Doctor on Demand?
Jay McGraw: Doctor on Demand is the first direct to consumer app that lets you connect with a doctor for $40 a call. After downloading the app, patients are prompted to complete a brief tutorial and sign-up process that asks for their name, date of birth, credit card (or Health Care Savings account debit card) information, email and password. Once initial setup is complete, a patient simply logs in, types in their symptoms, allergies and current medications and is connected to a doctor via phone or video conference within minutes – the average wait time is 3 – 5 minutes. Sessions typically conclude with medical advice or a prescription. All this can be done from the comfort of a patient’s home.
Droid Report: How do you see your company Doctor on Demand evolving in near the future?
Adam Jackson: Right now we are really focused on the product and expanding coverage across all U.S.
Droid Report: Why do you feel the U.S. market is ready for embracing telehealth?
Adam Jackson: It’s no secret that the U.S. healthcare system is lacking efficiency and access. It can take hours, days, or even weeks to see a doctor when a person is not feeling well. In 2009 the average wait in an emergency reached a new average high – just over four hours. Nearly 80% of adults in the U.S. visit the emergency room due to lack of access to other providers and are there for “general medical complaints”. Common reasons for the last emergency room visit are: the doctor’s office was not open and there was no other place to go and the emergency room was the closest provider,
We started Doctor on Demand because we saw there was a lack of access to doctors in the U.S., rising insurance premiums and urgent care costs and wait times are all major problems across the health care system. We also recognized that there was no direct to consumer app that allowed you to have a video consultation with a U.S. licensed physician. We launched the app on iOS and Android in December of 2013.
Droid Report: The potential to transform healthcare is substantial however structural issues may pose obstacles. Privacy issues will continue to be a major concern. What are your thoughts on regulation and privacy?
Adam Jackson: We take security and patient privacy very seriously. Doctor on Demand is HIPPA compliant and the service is conducted over a secure and encrypted VolP network. We also take great care to abide by all state regulations.
Droid Report: How is Doctor on Demand keeping up with privacy concerns?
Adam Jackson: Because Doctor on Demand is HIPPA compliant, privacy standards are the same as an in-person doctor visit.
Droid Report: Is there anything else you feel Android users and the Android market should know?
Adam Jackson: I’d just urge them to download the app here and see how easy it is to use for themselves!
We would like to thank Jay McGraw and Adam Jackson for taking time for this discussion and Doctor on Demand.