UnitedHealthcare has launched a new app designed to provide patients with on-demand virtual health services. The new app replaces the company’s existing app Health4Me.
Patients can use the new UnitedHealthcare app to access their health plan ID card, review and manage prescription medications, comparison shop for care and medicine, keep a record of their preferred providers, locate new providers, and keep track of spending and balances.
Additionally, unlike with the Health4Me app, the new app enables patients to directly schedule and conduct a virtual visit with a doctor.
“Digital health resources are fundamentally changing how people navigate the health system, making it possible to access care from anywhere at any time and helping remove barriers to care,” said UnitedHealthcare chief medical officer Dr. Anne Docimo in a press release.
Docimo said the app is the latest piece of UnitedHealth Group’s ongoing $3 billion annual investment into new data and technology aimed at increasing accessibility and affordability of the health system.
That includes developing virtual visit capabilities to mitigate care costs. Virtual care costs less than $50 compared with about $740 for an emergency room visit, and 25 percent of emergency room visits are for issues that could be handled virtually, according to UnitedHealthcare.
Virtual visits take less time, as well—about 20 minutes, according to UnitedHealthcare. Plus, doctors can diagnose a range of nonemergency medical conditions, including allergies, flu, colds, pinkeye, fevers and rashes. Doctors can also prescribe medications after a virtual visit.
Costs for certain telemedicine services through the UnitedHealthcare app are dependent on a patient’s individual plan, but there is no additional cost to use the app itself from the previous Health4Me iteration.