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St. Joseph doctor's app connects patients directly with orthopedic specialists

Hurt app
Posted at 4:00 AM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-15 07:13:05-05

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — If you or your child get injured playing a sport, would you know what to do?

Or maybe a better question is this: would you be confident going to an emergency room if you're not sure how severe the injury is, especially if you don't want to be in a hospital environment right now?

A doctor from St. Joseph, Missouri, has developed a free app to help you with that problem.

Dr. Brett Miller is a sports medicine specialist in St. Joseph. You name the sport, he's probably seen the injury.

"You may have hurt your shoulder two weeks ago, and you thought it would get better,” Miller said. “Well, that's not an emergency, but yet you don't want to be juggled around to three different places and miss three days of work and spend three co-pays."

That's why Miller developed the HURT app. It connects you directly with an orthopedic doctor.

When you log into the app, the responder, sometimes even Dr. Miller himself, will ask you some questions about the injury, and maybe even ask for a picture.

“Really, our expertise is getting you to the right office and the right person, so that you have one visit one co-pay and it's done,” Miller said.

The app even offers some guidance for a person to tackle the problem themselves.

Brooke Simpson needed help for a situation thousands of parents have experienced: pain at a bounce house.

“She (Simpson’s young daughter) was being helped up onto the obstacle course by another girl,” Simpson said. “And they pulled her elbow out of place."

The injury is called a nurse maid's elbow. Dr. Miller responded on the app, and sent a YouTube link to show Simpson what to do.

"Basically turn her forearm one way, and then pull it up,” Simpson said. “And if it pops, that's good. And it did. And she felt better."

Miller thinks this app could change the medical field.

"If we can save all those emergency room visits that don't need to happen, that's going to lower health care costs, save employers money, and save employees money," Miller said.

And he thinks moms, dads, and weekend warriors will love it.

"I mean, who will ever go stand in line at Chipotle,” Miller said. “Now you just put it on your app and you pick it up and that's what the HURT app is going to do for injuries."

Users will be asked to put in insurance information when downloading the HURT app, but that's just so the app can connect users with the right doctors.

A user's insurance won't be billed for the consultation. Dr. Miller says they're focused mostly locally right now, but they hope to roll out the app nationwide by the end of next year.