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When you’re a parent with a sick child, time is of the essence. You want answers and a solution ASAP. But scheduling an appointment with your pediatrician (or a specialist) can take days or even weeks, and if you try to call, you might be waiting on hold for half an hour. This is an issue that telehealth has been working to solve for the last few years in adult healthcare, but now it’s coming for pediatric healthcare as well, through a company called Summer Health.
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This pediatric telehealth company launched in 2022, billing itself as the “first nationwide healthcare entity to offer text-based pediatric care.” Through Summer Health, parents can send a text and connect to their care team within 15 minutes for a message-based appointment.
There are no phone or video calls required, which can be key for busy parents who can’t step away from work or caregiving to take a call. Parents can also send photos and videos through the chat, and doctors can send out prescriptions to local pharmacies as needed.
Up to this point, Summer Health has provided access to vetted providers for urgent care (fever, rashes, infections, etc.) and specialty care (think sleep, nutrition, and lactation). Today, the company announced an expansion of its services into primary care through its new Everyday Care portal. Like a primary pediatric practice, each family on Summer Health will be assigned a lead pediatrician and medical team. The families will get 24/7, “unlimited access” to this team and any specialists, Summer Health said in a statement.
Summer Health describes the expansion as a way to provide “a holistic approach to care” and deepen relationships between parents and their care team, “who will have a complete understanding of the health of their children and remain available at all hours of the day.” And when they say 24/7 access, they mean it; while Summer Health aims to respond to all texts within 15 minutes, the company’s FAQ notes that the “national average wait time” comes to about 3 minutes.
Chelsea Clinton, a mom of two herself, invested in Summer Health last year and told Fortune in a recent interview that any caregiver “should have access to excellent advice in a timely fashion.” The writer and health advocate noted, “We have more phones in our country than we have people, and we have many examples of text-based platforms being particularly valuable to parents.”
And Summer Health’s services come at an affordable price, especially compared to the cost of a doctor’s appointment or urgent care visit. An account with Summer Health costs $20 per month for a monthly subscription, or $16 per month for yearly. All children in your household are covered under the same subscription.
It’s a solid option if you often find yourself frantically googling your kid’s symptoms, comparing their rashes or scrapes to scary photos online, then wondering how accurate that search engine info really is. Instead of Dr. Google, you can text an actual doctor or specialist and get information you know you can trust. For more information on Summer Health or to sign up for a subscription, check out the company’s website.
Before you go, check out these natural products to treat your kid’s cold:
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