Demand for high-tech health help grows during cold stretch

February 1, 2019

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A health-care system in western Michigan says more than 400 people used an online service to seek help for non-emergencies during the extreme cold spell.

Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids says MedNow typically sees 250 people over a four-day period. But demand rose significantly Monday through Thursday. MedNow allows people to see a health professional over a computer or mobile device instead of going to a doctor’s office.

Senior director Joe Brennan says it’s best for people with aches, rashes, cold and flu.

Matthew Streichhirsch of Newaygo County was in pain after removing snow. He and wife Tracy used MedNow on Wednesday. She feared that her cold was growing into pneumonia.

They got medication for the short term and avoided a trip to the emergency room.

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