National telecommunications giant Verizon (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) announced today its official launch of a new telehealth campaign that aims to provide a convenient and cost-effective way for patients to remotely see their physician.
Users of Verizon Virtual Visits can experience some face time with their doctors from the confines home for a number of conditions such as a cold, flu, sore throat or other “simple, acute conditions” via video on their smartphone, tablet or computer, the company announced.
“We are seeing a shift in how care is delivered in the U.S.,” stated Rich Black, vice president of Verizon’s healthcare practice.
As many as 62 million Americans have difficulty accessing primary and preventative care, with 27 days as the average time for a new patient to schedule an appointment, according to a study published by Health Affairs in September 2010.
“With Verizon Virtual Visits, patients and providers alike can benefit from the use of technology to provide medical care via an enterprise-class technology solution developed with the security, performance and reliability essential to healthcare delivery,” Rich stated.
The way it works is patients can connect online with a clinician through a secure app either through a smartphone, tablet or online portal. Once logged in, patients are taken through a set of health-related questions followed by a discussion with a clinician, who evaluates the patient’s condition and then provides an appropriate care plan.
Virtual Visits also allows clinicians to electronically send a prescription to the pharmacy of the patient’s choosing. Data shared between clinicians and patients are encrypted and stored in Verizon’s HIPAA-enabled Cloud.
Wednesday’s launch of Virtual Visits isn’t the first attempt the mega communication provider has made to bridge the gap between healthcare services and the home.
Last August, Verizon received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop a remote monitoring device that collects and stores biometric data from other physiological devices, such as those used for monitoring blood pressure and glucose levels.
“We believe our latest mobile health offering can go a long way to enable a more efficient and effective U.S. healthcare system,” stated Black on the launch of Virtual Visits, the latest addition to the company’s portfolio of mobile health solutions.
Written by Jason Oliva