Is the Future of Health Care Remote?

Combining Quality and Convenience through Innovation in Telemedicine.

Telemedicine is a growing and dynamic field that’s been around for over 40 years. What started out as a way to provide medical support to populations in rural locations over the phone has grown into a $100 million video consultation industry. By 2018, this industry is expected to grow to over $13.6 billion.

Clearly there is a need to provide consumers with the care they need closer to where they live and work in a convenient way. What is also very important is the ability to be able to share and access quality clinical data.

At GuideWell we are currently looking at telemedicine efforts in four distinct areas:

  • Doctors monitoring patient conditions through data integration
  • Doctors and patient consultations with a remote specialist through video technology
  • Doctors interacting with patients at home through a smart phone, a tablet, or the web
  • Doctors interacting with patients at a remote site with medical equipment

The Benefits

The benefits to telemedicine solutions are pretty straight-forward and truly have the power to impact the existing health care system for good.

For the patient, remote health solutions are convenient and provide timely access to care. In addition, these solutions are typically less expensive than urgent care or emergency room care. For doctors, remote health opportunities provide access to new markets of patients and reduce excess capacity. Remote health solutions enable employers to improve productivity, are less expensive than full-blown onsite clinics, provide reduced health care expenses and enable them to offer one additional employee benefit to existing and prospective employees. Finally – these solutions help insurance companies reduce medical costs which in turn can impact insurance premiums and enable these insurance companies to be more competitive in the insurance marketplace.

GuideWell, Miami Children’s Hospital and HealthSpot: An Innovative Pilot in Remote Health

An example of an exciting program where we’ve enabled doctors to interact with patients at a remote site with medical equipment can be demonstrated through our relationship with Miami Children’s Hospital and HealthSpot with the launch of a new pilot initiative. We’ve recently installed a fully integrated health kiosk in our retail centers in Miami. HealthSpot has developed a kiosk that combines the best of telemedicine connectivity with medical equipment to ensure that patients and doctors have the best possible remote experience with access to accurate and quality clinical information. It connects directly with a nurse practitioner from Miami Children’s Hospital and will serve our insurance members. Both adult and pediatric patients can access this service through high definition video conferencing and a suite of connected medical devices that stream biomedical information in real time. The kiosk opens for patient visits on October 31, 2014. We can see the opportunity of placement of these kiosks in other retail environments, in employer facilities and in rural locations.

Learn More about HealthSpot

We recently interviewed Steve Cashman, the CEO of HealthSpot, at the GuideWell Insights Lounge at MediFuture 2024. Watch to learn more about his take on the future of remote health. You can view this interview as well as those from many other industry leaders on our YouTube channel.

Follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn and check back here to learn more about what we are doing in the remote health space.

About the Author

Annie Erstling

Annie is a social media and communications consultant for GuideWell. She’s passionate about using the power of great communications to positively impact health and wellness for the communities GuideWell serves. Connect with her on Twitter @annieerstling or on LinkedIn.