“Kry” in the test – does the app replace a visit to the doctor?

Diagnosis, sick bill and prescription without leaving the house. That’s what the app “kry” promises. However, a virtual consultation via smartphone does have disadvantages, as our test showed. Drugs in particular quickly become expensive, and a trip to the doctor’s office is probably unavoidable for more complicated complaints.

Those without acute medical conditions sometimes have to wait months for a doctor’s appointment. Once you arrive at the doctor’s office, the first direct route is back to the waiting room. That doesn’t have to be the case, at least if the makers of the app “kry” are to be believed. This is a digital doctor’s visit on the smartphone, which is supposed to help at least with simple medical cases. But how well does it really work and can kry even replace an examination? We put the whole thing through its paces and draw a mixed conclusion.

User account and registration

Access to the “digital doctor’s office” is only possible via user account, and health insurance data is particularly important. Important to know: kry works for patients who are members of a statutory health insurance. No co-payment is required for the doctor’s appointment itself. Minors cannot use the service themselves; registration is only possible from the age of 18. Furthermore, it makes no difference whether a patient is self-insured, has family insurance or is a member of the student health insurance scheme. In the app itself, one can subsequently log in with all available security options, such as fingerprint.

Limited functions

The kry app has a few restrictions compared to regular doctor’s visits. For example, according to the provider, it is currently not possible to cover the costs of medications on health insurance prescriptions; with kry, only private prescriptions are issued. Patients therefore have to pay the full price, which can be very expensive for certain medications. Retroactive sick notes are not possible, which is why retroactive receipt of sick pay is also not possible. The above-mentioned sick notes are only for submission to the employer, not to the health insurance company, and are only available in PDF format. Those who wish to submit the documents to the employer by mail must therefore print them out themselves.

Appointment

After successful registration in the kry app, it is immediately possible to make appointments with general practitioners or specialists. For the video consultation, simply click on “Book appointment”. Notifications must be activated on the smartphone so that the app sends a reminder in good time before the doctor’s appointment. A few questions must also be answered in advance for the doctor. Parents or guardians can book a separate video consultation for children. In addition, consultation hours are offered in English as well as German. Of course, doctor-patient confidentiality also applies here, which means that data protection is fully guaranteed. This also applies to all patient data that is processed in the app. There is therefore no disadvantage for the patient here.

Read a field report from our colleagues at FITBOOK: Video consultation with the doctor – many advantages, but also hooks

Our test

In a short self-experiment, we tried out how kry actually performs. In this case, it was about an appointment with a dermatology specialist. The first irritating thing was the wrong time. The appointment was supposed to take place the following morning, but then we received confirmation that a doctor would be available at short notice. As a patient, it is difficult to prepare for this. For the examination, a photo of the affected examination site had to be submitted in advance. This worked comparatively unproblematically. However, the virtual visit to the doctor’s office seemed to be a mixed bag, as the doctor only seemed to deal with the problem superficially. Afterwards, no medication was prescribed, but a simple household remedy was recommended. In this case, the medical advice was nevertheless sufficient.

Only recommended to a limited extent

In our opinion, the kry app can by no means replace a regular visit to the doctor. This is due to the fact that, at least according to the provider, it is currently not possible to cover the costs of medication. However, medication is often indispensable even for a simple cold. In the case of potentially more serious illnesses, it would even be grossly negligent and dangerous to forego a visit to the local doctor.  Of course, kry also knows this and therefore already indicates in the app for which illnesses the service can be used at all.

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