Dr. Iltifat Husain’s physician take is at the end of this article
St. Luke’s University Health Network, headquartered in Bethlehem, PA, clearly believes in the value of telemedicine. It has enlisted the help of American Well, a privately held telehealth company in Boston, to help launch its own telemedicine app, which it calls St. Luke’s Care Anywhere.
The telemedicine app, which is available on Apple and Android based phones and tablets, gives patients access to the health network’s physicians 24/7, 365 days of the year with no appointment needed. St Luke’s states: Patients can connect within minutes. Get a diagnosis or a prescription from a healthcare provider, when appropriate. All in one 10–minute session. It also boasts the fact that all its physicians are U.S. trained and board certified.
The telemedicine app’s visual interface includes photos of each physician, their specialty, and whether or not they are immediately available for a consultation. When the patient selects an individual physician, the screen displays the clinician’s professional education, the languages they speak, and their years of experience.
Another useful feature of the telemedicine app — if the patient has access to Apple Health you have the ability to seamlessly share health data during the video visit, including heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, blood glucose, weight, nutritional information, and respiratory rate. This means that if your wireless blood pressure cuff has Apple Health integration your telemedicine physician will be able to see this data easily.
Among the conditions that St. Luke’s physicians are willing to consult on through the service: bronchitis, cough, sinus infection, sore throat, urinary tract Infection, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, pinkeye, flu, sprains and strains, colds, and other respiratory infections.
Like St Luke’s, Indiana University Health is offering their own telemedicine app. In the latter case, however, the service is being provided to its employees and their immediate families if they have health insurance coverage from IU Health plans. The program is also done in partnership with American Well and is available to patients everyday between 8 am and 8 pm.
St. Luke’s is among the many healthcare organizations that are realizing the tremendous potential for telemedicine services and the keen interest that the public has in virtual medicine.
Dr. Iltifat Husain’s take:
Really interesting to see how large health organizations and hospital are utilizing existing telemedicine companies and offering their own physicians (in the case of Indiana University Health) for telemedicine services. This type of partnering strategy might be the future for companies such as Teladoc. Teladoc and American Well have already built up strong telemedicine platforms, and it makes sense for hospital centers to consider partnering with them as opposed to building out their own platforms.
Further, it’s great to see these health organizations pulling data from patient’s smartphones (Apple Health app) — giving the physician key metrics such as blood pressure and glucose levels in real time during the telemedicine visit.
St. Luke’s Care Anywhere
By St. Luke’s Health Network
IU Health Video Visits
By Indiana University Health