Mobile communications specialist TeleCommunication Systems introduced VirtuMedix, a secure, virtual collaboration platform designed for remote consultation of health care providers and patients.
With the VirtuMedix platform, TCS addresses the market for video telemedicine solutions. The VirtuMedix platform provides patients with an alternative to urgent care centers or emergency rooms for acute care situations.
It also may be used in long-term care situations such as assisted living, rehabilitation centers or chronic disease management.
The company’s technologies, including encryption, navigation, mapping and messaging, are also built into the capabilities of VirtuMedix.
Features include HIPAA-compliant audio and video communication, and information storage protects the privacy of patient information and allows physicians to consult securely with patients.
"We see two main areas for both health IT and VirtuMedix to contribute positively to medical health care. First, the virtual platform will expand access to health care–meaning that more patients will have access to medical professional services faster and that will ultimately increase the overall health of patients," Guy Henggeler, general manager of VirtuMedix at TCS, told eWEEK. "Second, the data that we capture will allow the industry to better understand what treatments lead to what results."
Henggeler noted as a move is made into the digital age with smart and connected devices in every aspect of life, health IT and virtual health care services can help patients recover faster and stay healthier longer.
A simple user interface and toolsets make it possible for clinicians to view various on-call rosters and to manage patient volume, while picture upload capabilities allow patients to securely share high-definition images of their medical issues, such as a bite or rash, using a mobile device or Web app.
The integration of ePrescribe capabilities expands physicians’ clinical toolset, while a simple electronic medical record system enables doctors to see patients’ records, and enables patients to produce an invoice for insurance claims.
In addition, multi-lingual patient care agents are available to assist patients with the consultation queue and provide information, such as health records.
Wake Emergency Physicians, PA (WEPPA), a North Carolina-based independent emergency medicine group, is the first to deploy the platform for improved patient care by its 136 emergency specialists who treat nearly 300,000 patients annually.
"WEPPA was looking to develop a telemedicine platform and realized there were core components missing from the existing offerings in the marketplace. Due to TCS’ expertise in security, messaging and location-based services, WEPPA decided to collaborate with TCS on developing the VirtuMedixTM platform," Henggeler explained. "TCS developed the platform while WEPPA provided their clinical workflow, content and expertise. WEPPA is the first customer to deploy VirtuMedix, which is a premier platform that can be utilized by any type of health care provider seeking to deploy virtual health care."
According to recent research by Deloitte, 75 million virtual doctor visits, or one in six, are expected to occur this year alone, and Frost & Sullivan forecasts that the video telemedicine market in North America will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16.7 percent from 2012 to reach more than $600 million in 2017.