(CNN) -- When you're sick, sometimes it feels impossible to get out of bed, let alone get to the doctor. And the last thing anyone wants to do is spend hours at the emergency room.
So Silicon Valley is retooling a service that was common almost a century ago: the house call. Several companies have developed smartphone apps that bring doctors to patients, often in less time than it would take to seek treatment elsewhere. With apps like Pager and Medicast, a patient can request a doctor with the push of a button.