Startup ‘Nurse-1-1’ Lets You Text a Nurse to Find Out If You Should Head to the Doctor

When was the last time you rushed to the ER in the middle of the night after discovering a suspect-looking rash on your kiddo, only to be given a prescription for over-the-counter Benadryl by an overworked doctor? Oh, and that’s after HOURS in the waiting room, of course!

Or, perhaps you decided to wait it out until the morning, but all of that online research that you did before you tucked your little one into bed put your mind in some pretty dark places…

If these scenarios don’t sound familiar, then good for you–your child must have one heck of an immune system! But, for the rest of us that have kiddos who routinely come home from school with mysterious illnesses galore, there is a much better alternative.

Yes, there is a new online platform that aims to offer medical advice, all without having to risk an unnecessary visit to the emergency room. The solution is called Nurse-1-1, and it’s a startup that allows its users to get quick answers from physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses via text message.

Nurse-1-1, which consists of an impressive medical team working out of Harvard University’s Innovation Lab, has one, very important mission: to provide patients with a more convenient, cost-effective alternative to in-office or telemedicine-related care.

Of course, telemedicine–services in which doctors conduct appointments via online video chat–is gaining more visibility these days, this specific concept is a new one as it exclusively involves nursing professionals.

Another way that Nurse-1-1 deviates from the standard telemedicine business model is that patients are able to communicate with nurses via SMS. This is a particularly helpful feature for those struggling with the aforementioned scenario highlighted at the top of this article–aka the “mysterious rash!”

Image of child with thermometer in mouth.RobHainer via Deposit Photos

Naturally, Nurse-1-1 isn’t able to do everything that traditional telemedicine platforms do–for instance, nurses technically can’t diagnose or prescribe–but, because its function is meant to be a lightweight one, the services do cost far less.

At the moment, sign up is absolutely free and, better yet, it’s completely free for patients of doctors, medical groups, and insurances that subscribe to Nurse-1-1. Otherwise, the text service costs just $12.50 per use–roughly $37 cheaper than the average telemedicine call.

Technically speaking, no providers have signed up with the service just yet, but the startup did just launch, so hopefully, it won’t be long until the idea catches on and your own provider becomes a subscriber. In the meantime, Nurse-1-1 has a team that is ready to handle a variety of medical-related questions for both kids and adults alike.

We think Nurse-1-1 sounds like a great idea. No more scary, late-night WebMD rabbit holes for us. Next time, we’ll just text a trusted nurse!

We can’t wait to hear your take on Nurse-1-1. Do you see yourself ever using this service? Have you ever used a telemedicine service before? Are you a nurse who thinks this service is NOT a good idea?