Picture this: You’re actually feeling sick enough to go see your doctor, so you make an appointment. You sit in the waiting room next to a lady who sneezed on you and pray that she doesn’t have something fatal. You put on the flimsy paper gown and awkwardly talk to your doctor about the weather as they examine you. Afterwards your doctor explains exactly what’s wrong with you and how to go about getting better, and you nod enthusiastically, happy to finally find a solution to what’s been ailing you. Then you take the prescription note, walk out the door, and…
…your mind goes blank. Wait, what did the doctor just tell me?
If this has ever happened to you, you’re not alone. Patients typically forget 80% of medical information their doctors tell them, before they even leave the office.
There are a million other things on our minds so it’s understandable, right? No big deal, right? Maybe…except when the information you just forgot is crucial to your health and well-being.
So how in the world are you supposed to keep track of what your doctors tell you?
That’s where Duet Health comes in.
“Duet Health started with this app we built for this doctor in Orlando,” says Andy Sparks, Director of Product Development at Duet Health.
“And somehow Jeff (Principal at Duet Health) got connected with him and he was like, ‘can you build me an app? I have these wealthy patients that have gotten this iPhone thing, and they keep calling me and asking me the same questions; I end up wasting a lot of time on the phone saying yes that’s okay, no that’s not. Can you build me an app that just answers those questions for me so then I don’t have to be on the phone, and patients are more educated?’ Jeff said yeah, sure.”
Here’s how Duet Health works:
- Once you download the app and open it up, you type in your name and your doctor’s name, then hit a “confirm” button which links you to that doctor. That relationship is linked now, so you can log in and see your doctor’s picture, you can get directions to their office, you can get a phone number, etc.
- Then, you go in and select a timeline. “Duet is very much centered around this idea of a timeline,” says Andy. “It’s for people that have upcoming events or recent events, like having shoulder surgery. You walk through your timeline and it says hey, you’re nine days out, this is what you should be doing to prepare. Maybe it’s schedule someone to bring you to the hospital, or even as detailed as like 24-hours prior it says hey, you’re going into a surgery that requires full anesthesia so don’t eat anything, don’t drink anything except for clear fluids for the next 24 hours, if you do you’re going to have to cancel the surgery.”
- There’s also medical content, a library of really, really simple medical information. Andy says the content is written at a 5th-grade reading level to make it simple to understand. “And the way that we get that content is we sit down five or six doctors and we get them all to agree on everything in the content,” he says. “We figure if we get 5 or 6 doctors in a specialty to agree on something then it’s legit, because you can’t even get them to agree on giving you directions, let alone a piece of medical information. It’s really basic, simple stuff but we think that has value.”
- All the medical content links back to the timeline, which your doctor has complete access to and can even send you reminders, and there you have it. Simple and easy to use.
So what makes Duet Health different from other healthcare apps out there?
“What we really do is we’re patient education, and it’s all around, it’s tied to your course of care and it’s tied to your doctor,” Andy says. “It’s education and then it’s adherence. So when a doctor is saying hey, go home and I want you to do this exercise, they’re issuing you a course of care, they want you to adhere to that course of care.”
The app also helps doctors to keep track of whether or not their patients are actually following their course of care.
“Right now there’s no way to prove that patients actually do that,” Andy says. “Adherence and compliance is a really big deal because right now there’s no way to prove that patients actually do something. That’s the problem that we’re solving, and it’s something really exciting.”
“We’re moving towards a completely connected experience from when you’re in the office, when you’re out of the office, this device becomes your connection to your doctor, and to doctors that’s really exciting.”
The app is scheduled to hit stores by the end of February.
So what do you think? Is Duet Health something you think you’d use? Tweet us your thoughts at @duethealth!