Feature Story, Student Life

August 12, 2019

Round-The-Clock Healthcare

Ohio Wesleyan Students Have Free Access to 98point6 Primary Care App

By Cole Hatcher

At 98point6, the doctors are always on-call.

And since November 2018, Ohio Wesleyan University students have had free access to primary care physicians via the Seattle-based company’s on-demand, text-based healthcare app.

By pre-registering with 98point6, full-time OWU students 18 and older are able to contact a board-certified, primary care physician 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year – whether the students are on campus or traveling in any U.S. state or Washington, D.C.

“98point6 delivers on-demand primary care right to your phone, and nobody is more on the go than college students,” said Robbie Cape, CEO and co-founder of 98point6. “So whether it’s an upset stomach or a suspicious sore throat, 98point6 physicians are just a text away. We’re excited to join the Bishops family and keep the student body healthy all year round.”

Ohio Wesleyan is one of three colleges in the nation collaborating with 98point6 to provide the no-cost primary care to our students, said Doug Koyle, OWU associate dean for student success.

“We’re pleased to offer this service,” Koyle said, noting that since it debuted last fall “a full 100 percent of students who have used the app said they would use it again.”

98point6’s services are free for students actively enrolled at Ohio Wesleyan, with no insurance billed for the “visit,” Koyle said.

Students will be referred to the OWU Student Health Center, or other medical facility, if laboratory testing or urgent care is required. For this reason, Koyle said, OWU students still are required to carry health insurance. The coverage helps ensure they have access to the full spectrum of care that may be needed to keep them healthy.

Since OWU’s program began last fall, students have used the 98point6 healthcare app 260 times, with the company’s physicians responding in an average of 32 seconds and resolving 94 percent of their student-patient issues.

Most of the virtual visits occurred during traditional office hours, but 12 percent of the physician consultations took place between midnight and 8 a.m. In addition, 25 percent of those using the app said they would not have sought care if the app weren’t available to them.

Examples of ailments treated nationwide by 98point6 physicians include upper respiratory, dermatology, gastrointestinal, and musculoskeletal issues, as well as mental health concerns.

In addition to Ohio Wesleyan, 98point6 is piloting its app-based care at other select schools to help the company better understand student healthcare needs at colleges and universities of different sizes and locations.

According to the company, 98point6 was founded in 2015 and “built by a community of industry experts – including more than 100 of the brightest minds in the technology, regulatory, and medical fields, as well as a Medical Advisory Board made up of 18 distinguished thought-leaders.”

“What brings us together,” the company states, “is our vision to reshape the way primary care is delivered so that everyone, everywhere can have unprecedented access.”

Learn more about the 98point6 services available to OWU students at www.98point6.com/owu. Read more about the OWU Student Health Center, operated by OhioHealth, and its on-campus services at www.owu.edu/health.