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Verizon Throws Its Hat into the Telemedicine Arena

July 02, 2014

In yet another sign that telemedicine is gaining traction in the U.S., Verizon (News - Alert) has announced that it has thrown its hat into the telemedicine space with its new Verizon Virtual Visits platform.

The new platform is designed for health systems, health plans and employers to help employees and patients see a doctor easily without a lengthy scheduling delay. Consumers can log in through a Web portal or app, fill out a brief questionnaire that serves as intake, and then can connect via video with a physician who is authorized to issue prescriptions.

The Verizon system first verifies that the customer can access the platform, and determines payment. At the end of the session, a visit summary is generated for the patient and, with permission, it can be sent to the primary care provider and entered into the electronic health record.

Roughly 62 million Americans have trouble accessing a physician for primary or preventative care, according to MHealth News, and the average time for a new patient to schedule an appointment is 27 days. By enabling people to access medical help online, it is predicted that some of the roughly $4.4 billion spent a year on non-urgent visits can be saved.

A Verizon rep said that the company decided to enter the telemedicine space “because we have a secure healthcare cloud and we know mobile.”

The rise of telemedicine presents opportunities not only for healthcare organizations and patients, but also for subagents enabling healthcare facilities and businesses of all types to connect over the Internet. As consumers get increasingly used to remotely connecting with physicians, colleagues and family, the need for remote communications solutions and unified communications will increase.

One firm helping subagents capitalize on this demand is Telarus (News - Alert). It has partner relationships providers of all types, including Level 3 Communications. Level 3 has already been involved in telemedicine deployments, including one with Telecare Select in 2012.

Telarus makes it easy for subagents to offer a wide range of services, and it enables subagents to offer live price quotes for services from many of its partners.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson
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