Just one more week and Google will be shutting down Helpouts, their expert-advice platform and marketplace. Health providers who use Google Helpouts will need a new solution so that they can continue offering telemedicine. The good news is that with the growing number of telemedicine services offering video doctor visits, there are plenty of Helpouts alternatives out there.
While the idea behind Google Helpouts was worthy, it never really caught on. Google itself says, “unfortunately, [Helpouts] hasn’t grown at the pace we had expected.” Part of the problem is that there is so much free expertise available online, from blogs to iTunes University to Howcast on YouTube. It’s no wonder that Helpouts got buried all that great information.
Another problem was the user experience. Writing for VentureBeat, Mark Sullivan tells the story of a mental health provider disappointed with Google Helpouts:
Lewisville, Texas-based counselor Will Singleton was excited about Helpouts when he heard it had launched. But it soon became clear to Singleton that Helpouts wasn’t going to fit into his practice like he hoped it would. The people who called the service didn’t have just a few questions that could be handled in a short amount of time. In Singleton’s case, the people who he talked to online came to the service with problems that were best treated with long-term, regular sessions. ‘These were just people who were trying to get free therapy.’
While the Helpouts marketplace may have been an easy way to get some Google juice, it seems to have lacked the design and credibility needed for a healthcare delivery platform. It required patients to get a Google+ social media account as well as use Google Wallet to pay for sessions. It lists free pet health advice alongside safe dieting training sessions and $150/hour radiologist consults. Furthermore, there has always been a question of how Google was going to charge providers for using Helpouts since their 20% per visit fee for other Helpouts users is illegal for healthcare visits.
VSee provides a simple waiting room experience that fits easily into medical workflows, whether it’s a walk-in or scheduled visit. It allows physicians to use a platform that can be trusted to protect patient privacy.
As a health provider, your expertise is valuable. And time is money. If you’ve been using Helpouts, write to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you make the switch.