First Opinion, a mobile app providing users with personal healthcare consultations with trained physicians, has announced it has raised $6 million in a Series A funding round, led by Polaris Partners. The round included participation from existing investors, including True Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Scrum Ventures and Monashees Capital.
The funding will be used to help First Opinion increase its 24-hour access to doctors and consultations within the app. In the last 12 months, around 100,000 healthcare consultations were conducted using the app. First Opinion aims to help users avoid the cost and time associated with traditional doctor visits, in cases when those visits are ultimately unnecessary and a concern can be addressed through email, phone or text (or, in this case, through the First Opinion app).
The app allows users to communicate with physicians via text messaging, and they can also send photos to doctors of their concerns. While the app can be used for free, and members can ask unlimited questions to physicians, users also have the option of upgrading to a premium monthly subscription, ensuring they receive responses within five minutes or less.
First Opinion has a network of practicing physicians across a variety of specialties, from family practice and pediatrics to dermatology, diabetes care, radiology and even emergency medicine (among others). The app wants to be more than a “symptom checker,” and pairs its users with the same doctor each time they have a health question, so relationships and trust can be formed over time.
It should be noted the app doesn’t look to replace all doctor visits, as First Opinion doctors don’t diagnose illnesses. Instead, the app’s aim is to help users determine if a trip to an actual doctor’s office is necessary, and (if so) help them prepare any questions to ask while there. The app can also be used to ask questions after a diagnosis has been made.
“First Opinion is so much more than a symptom checker search engine; we are connecting users with a single, qualified physician who can make informed recommendations and opinions based on individual circumstances,” said McKay Thomas, co-founder and CEO of First Opinion, in a statement.
“We’re really focused on decentralizing and distributing access to trained physicians who can provide expert guidance combined with a comforting bedside manner. This Series A funding will allow us to expand our network of doctors, grow internal infrastructures and focus on fine tuning our simple but proven approach to resolving complex healthcare issues.”
This funding takes the company’s total investment to $8.6 million. First Opinion is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store.