Telehealth Technology Takes Center Stage at ATA 2012
Consult A Doctor on the iPhone
Consult A Doctor unveiled a beta version of its iPhone app at ATA 2012 and plans to launch it officially in the coming weeks. The app allows patients to hold consultations with doctors by voice or email. The company plans to add video capabilities and an Android version in the future.
Messaging With the Doc
The E-Consult section of the Consult A Doctor iPhone app allows patients to ask questions over a secure connection to a doctor in a national network. They can also access payment and billing information through the My Account section of the app. Consult A Doctor provides one-click access to physicians and connects to the company's Telecare 3.0 cloud platform, which it licenses to health plans and providers.
American Well Online Care on the iPad
Coinciding with ATA 2012, American Well unveiled its Online Care 6.0 platform, which includes an app for the iPad and iPhone. With this mobile app, patients can browse providers' profiles and find a match based on various criteria, such as languages spoken or years of experience. They can then initiate a voice or text-messaging session with a doctor. Two-way video will be available by this summer.
American Well Online Care on the iPhone
For telehealth on a mobile app, patients don't require separate Webcams and microphones, noted American Well's CEO Dr. Roy Schoenberg. Insurers such as WellPoint, UnitedHealth Group and several Blue Cross units have been adding American Well's Online Care service to their health plans. "You can imagine how this can be used in emergency rooms, community health center and pharmacies," Schoenberg told eWEEK. "It literally opens up the system and extends it into the hands of the patient."
AT&T and VRI Advance Remote Monitoring
AT&T is collaborating with health services provider Valued Relationships Inc. (VRI) on a remote-monitoring platform aimed at cutting hospital readmissions and managing chronic conditions. VRI's software tool allows care managers to remotely track patients' vital dataincluding blood pressure, weight and pulseover AT&T's wireless network. AT&T and VRI demonstrated these remote-monitoring capabilities at ATA 2012.
Vidyo Telehealth in the OR
Vidyo offers high-definition multipoint video conferencing to hospitals and clinics. Here, surgeons collaborate with doctors and specialists remotely from the operating room. Vidyo encrypts the connection from end to end.
Vidyo Telehealth With Patients at Home
Vidyo's multipoint video conferencing eliminates the need for pricey medical care unit equipment and quality-of-service networks, the company reported. Its telepresence technology allows patients to remain at home and consult with nurses remotely.
Polycom RealPresence Mobile
At ATA 2012, Polycom demonstrated RealPresence Mobile, which is part of the company's RealPresence unified communications (UC) platform. The mobile app enables doctors and first responders to participate in an HD video session away from a health facility and patients at home to communicate with caregivers.
Polycom RealPresence Mobile iPad
RealPresence Mobile allows patients in the hospital to communicate on the iPad with doctors who may be outside the facility. The app is also available on Android devices. Video conferencing sessions can be shared among conference rooms, smartphones and tablets, allowing multiple care providers to collaborate. In addition to video, RealPresence incorporates instant messaging and a Jive Software social business tool to enable collaboration between doctors and patients.
Cisco TelePresence Enables Remote Care
Pictured here, Cisco's TelePresence VX-Clinical Assistant is a mobile telemedicine cart that enables high-definition video collaboration between doctors and patients. At ATA 2012, Cisco unveiled a rugged TelePresence VX Tactical platform for field use. "Video is the killer application here that is as good as and over time may be even better than interfacing one-to-one with a health professional," John Chambers, Cisco's chairman and CEO, said in a company video.