By Derrel Jazz Johnson
Imagine going to the doctor or taking an elderly family member to the hospital and the doctor doesn’t want to touch you because of your race? The doctor doesn’t know your name? We know racism is everywhere, including in healthcare, but racism is impacting what level of care the Black community gets, especially battling the COVID-19 Pandemic, which is having a worse impact on our communities. But a group of doctors aims to combat the continual COVID crisis that has devastated Black and Brown families, as well as other health issues that plague our communities with the launch of the Black Doctors 247 app.
The Black Doctor 247 app, which allows any person to access a Black doctor across the United States 24/7, and is available in the Apple and Google Play Stores, connects several campaigns central to Black Wellness 247, including The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program, Black Limbs Matter and The Black Beauty Salon Health Initiative. The goal of these elements is to reduce health disparities in the Black community. The app adds to the existing efforts of the Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program, which has already screened over 30,000 African American men throughout the nation.
“As someone who specializes in the health of individuals in high-risk populations, I’ve seen firsthand the disparities that exist for the Black community,” said Dr. Bill Releford, a specialist in avoidance of amputations. “Health outcomes for Black patients improve greatly when they’re seen by Black doctors, so we are partnering with doctors and barbershops across the nation to create a network of physicians for the Black community that promotes communication and trust.” Dr. Releford was motivated to get involved because he lost his Mom at the age of 68 to diabetes. “I could not help her, but I can help others.”
The Black Doctor 247 app allows those with a smartphone or tablet to use an intuitive dashboard with artificial intelligence to check their vital signs, including heart rate, oxygen saturation, respiration rate, blood pressure, and even mental stress symptoms. In addition, Black Doctor 247 will offer real-time, remote video-based Vital Signs Monitoring to facilitate early detection of COVID-19 in underserved communities across the country.
Despite the expansion of healthcare in recent years, research shows that massive healthcare disparities exist between the Black community and other communities. A study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that Black patients have better health outcomes when they are treated by a Black doctor. The study also concluded that black men assessed by Black doctors agreed to more preventive measures, resulting in the need for less invasive services.
So for Black patients that struggled to find Black Doctors in their area, visit https://www.blackdoctor247.com/ to download the Black Doctors 247 App.