NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) — The number of flu cases continues to rise this year. So far, six children in Texas have died from the flu, including one in Tarrant County.
Hospitals and urgent care clinics are packed with sick patients right now. But, families can avoid the long wait times, by seeing a doctor right on their phone.
The Children’s Health Virtual Visit app lets patients access an urgent care provider, whenever it’s convenient for them.
“You can be seen at home, you can be seen at your workplace, and it’s just much more efficient,” said Kenneth Dakin, a physician’s assistant with Children’s Health.
Visitors also won’t be exposed to other sick patients in the waiting room in the middle of flu season.
This past week, Children’s Medical Center Dallas saw 370 positive cases of influenza. Cook Children’s in Fort Worth had 334.
“We started seeing the flu a few weeks ago, even before Thanksgiving, and now we’re just getting more and more cases developing,” Dakin said.
With the video conference technology in the app, sick adults or their children can talk to a doctor, get diagnosed and get prescribed medication all through their smartphone, tablet or computer. It’s a $55 flat fee for a virtual visit.
“It’s really been gaining in appeal and I think that’s because of the different ways you can use the application,” said Victoria Rodino, director of telehealth operations for Children’s Health. “It’s not just for one type of illness or sickness.”
According to the CDC, the flu is widespread in Texas right now. They advise people to wash their hands frequently to help prevent it from spreading, and to — of course — get a flu shot.