• Zika Update

  • Be in the Know About Pneumonia

  • Four Ways to Make a Transactional Business Model Work For You

Zika Update

Watching the news about the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus can be scary, especially if you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. Health agencies are working hard to understand Zika and prevent further infections. Doctor On Demand physicians are following the situation and are up-to-date on the latest recommendations if you have any questions about traveling to Zika-infected areas.

Here is what you need to know about Zika:

Zika has been in parts of Africa and Asia since the 1950s. But it is new to the western hemisphere. The first case in Brazil was reported in May 2015 and more than 1.5 million Brazilians have been infected since. Zika spread rapidly through Latin America and the Caribbean. It has arrived in the United States, currently in Miami.

Nearly 20 percent of people infected with Zika will experience symptoms like fever or joint pain that last about a week. The biggest danger is with pregnant women. The virus can cause microcephaly in their unborn children — resulting in an abnormally small head and brain damage.

Zika is primarily transmitted by mosquitoes. It can also be spread through sexual contact. The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has called on all blood banks to screen for Zika.

Currently there is no antiviral treatment available.

Mosquito control: Eliminating mosquitoes can stop the spread of Zika. But the methods of spraying chemicals in residential areas has been a cause of protest in Miami.

Birth control: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asks women in Puerto Rico to consider whether now is the right time to get pregnant due to the rampant spread of Zika. The government of El Salvador has asked women to wait until 2018 to get pregnant.

Travel: The CDC advise pregnant women to not travel to Zika-infected areas. It also recommends that men who have travelled to Zika-infected areas use condoms when having sex so they do not pass the virus to their partners.

Avoid mosquito bites: Use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and shirts, use screens and air conditioning in your home or sleep under a mosquito net.

How Doctor On Demand can help
Before traveling, consult with a Doctor On Demand physician for an update on Zika recommendations. Doctor On Demand can also give you a plan for other travel-related illnesses and vaccines.

Be in the Know about Pneumonia

The video of Hillary Clinton collapsing on the campaign trail and her diagnosis of pneumonia put the lung infection in the news. Do the demands of your daily schedule at work, school and home feel just as exhausting as running for president?

Whether you’re trying to lead the country or a PTA meeting, there are steps you can take to stay healthy and avoid being sidelined by pneumonia.

What is pneumonia?
It’s an infection of the lungs that most commonly caused by bacteria or a virus. You may have heard of terms like “walking pneumonia” or “double pneumonia.” The “walking” variety is a milder form of pneumonia. “Double” is a more severe case where both the right and left lobes of the lung are infected.

How do you get it?
Your chances of getting pneumonia increase during cold and flu season when you encounter more sick people and your immune system is weak from not taking care of yourself with proper rest. The symptoms of pneumonia can mimic the cold or flu while escalating to a persistent cough, fever, difficulty breathing and increased sputum production (coughing up gunk).

Tips to avoid pneumonia

  • Get a flu shot. The flu virus can also cause pneumonia.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Children under 5 and adults over 65 should get the pneumococcal vaccine because pneumonia most severely affects the young and old. If you smoke, have a heart condition, or diabetes, you will need the vaccine sooner. There are two types of this vaccine and a Doctor On Demand physician can help you determine which is best for you.
  • Stop smoking. The damage from cigarette smoke makes your lungs more prone to infection.


  • Pneumonia caused by bacteria is treated with antibiotics.
  • Antibiotics cannot treat pneumonia caused by a virus. But there are antiviral medicines that can help alleviate the symptoms if the pneumonia was the result of the flu.

How Doctor On Demand can help
Doctor On Demand physicians can help you determine if you are at risk for developing pneumonia and next steps if you are having symptoms. It’s also important to check with a doctor when you have the cold of flu to ensure you are taking the right steps to avoid the risk of a secondary infection. Doctor On Demand provides expert treatment for busy people. See our board-certified and US-based doctors anytime, anywhere for care you can trust.

Four Ways to Make a Transactional Business Model Work For You

Published on Richard Branson's blog
Written by Joel Engardio for Doctor On Demand CEO Adam Jackson

By Adam Jackson

What’s the downside to magic? Consider the amazing Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) trick. Subscription-based business models with inexhaustible resources — like media or software — use the predictability of ARR to pull many financial rabbits out of hats. Yet all is not what it seems.

Subscription models can create divergent incentives between the service and its customers. This makes it very difficult for subscription models to find the perfect balance between zero utilization and too much utilization.

Underutilization — with customers not taking advantage of the subscription — is problematic and can cause cancellation and churn. The subscriber feels annoyed that they are not getting enough value from the subscription and will inevitably cancel. This churn hurts the brand and reduces the brand’s Net Promoter Score (percentage of customers who promote the brand minus the percent who detract it).

Overutilization means that profits disappear or the service is harmed for other subscribers who will eventually cause churn. Think of a gym with too many members — it’s pretty hard to swim laps with 50 swimmers in each lane.

If churn and damage to the brand is the downside to magical subscription business models, then a case can be made that a transactional model is what will generate the most success for real. 

Four reasons transactional can beat subscription models:

  1. Transactional models are usually more efficient and offer lower risk to the customer, and this can generate a faster gain in market share.
  2. Transactional models will retain customers more effectively. Customers will pay for the services they use (no more, no less), thus their loyalty to the brand will be stronger.
  3. Transactional models greatly reduce detractors of your brand, as far fewer people will pay for something they aren’t using.
  4. If your service actually works well, its repeat usage will surge (lifetime value), people will tell their friends (virality), and your cost of customer acquisition (CAC) will plummet. Soon your transactional revenue business will have beautiful, predictable, recurring revenue just like a subscription service. Except there’s one key difference: you’re much less likely to be disrupted on price and un-subscribers won’t hurt your brand by complaining about not getting enough value.

Transactional models optimize the business for the long term because all aspects of the organization are aligned to deliver customer satisfaction and grow. Good examples of this shift include the unbundling of television content from cable providers and pay-per-mile car insurance. Even the software as a service (SaaS) world is experiencing it.

In Doctor On Demand's case, we decided to offer both our “cash-pay” consumers (whose insurance doesn’t cover our service) as well as our health insurance and employer clients the same deal: $40 per medical visit and $95 per hour for psychology visits — period.  If you (or your members/employees) don’t use it, you don’t pay. It’s totally risk free. Thanks to this disruptive business model — along with excellent doctors and a product that just plain works — we’ve been able to grow market share quickly and still end up with nice, recurring revenue that is sustainable for the long term.