Grand Rapids-based telehealth app is free for victims of Harvey

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- A tech professional in West Michigan is one of many who are finding a way to help the hundreds of thousands impacted by Harvey by providing free healthcare at the palm of their hand.

Tele-health is becoming increasingly popular. Grand Rapids native Chris Bailey has created an app called Care Convene where you can interact with physicians through your cellphone. For the next month, people impacted by Hurricane Harvey an use the app and interact face to face with a physician at no cost.

It's damage like we've never seen after Hurricane Harvey, leaving residents without comes, clean water or access to healthcare.

"Without access to their physicians or any other care it's going to be very difficult for them," said Chris Bailey, creator and founder of Care Convene.

"Bailey has come up with a way for residents in Texas to talk to a physician free of charge.

"We've waived all our fees and the physicians who are partnering with us have volunteered to provide care for free," said Bailey.

It's all from your cell phone.

"It's been very helpful with patients who don't have time to come to the office," said Bailey. "It's helpful for patients who are traveling quite a bit."

Texas residents will be able to use Care Convene free of charge throughout the month of September and possibly into October, depending on the number of people needing care.

"We'll do it as long as it takes," said Bailey.

Users simply open the app and select their physician.

"You pick your visit, decide what doctor you have and what your symptoms are," said Bailey.

Users can also include notes and photos. From there, users can message with a doctor and speak face to face through video. Bailey says it's mostly used by people with chronic conditions.

"Those are the kind of symptoms that require daily compliance and with these residents displaced from their home and from their medications it's going to be very difficult," said Bailey. "I think as the weeks go on we're going to see a lot more need for healthcare."

So far, 15 physicians in Texas are signed on with more getting trained and hopping online each day.

"One way we hope to help is to reduce the burden on existing medical teams in Texas," said Bailey. "That's what tele-health is all about. It's about providing access with patients and their providers."

For more information about Care Convene visit their website.

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