MDLIVE, a provider of online and on-demand healthcare delivery services and software, announced today that it has launched a cloud-based software platform to pull together insurers, healthcare providers, patients, and those with chronic disease being monitored at home in a “virtual medical office” through voice, video, e-mail and mobile devices, as though they were all together face-to-face.
Virtual Medical Office 3.0 will enable insurers to add to their provider networks, while also giving patients 24/7 electronic access to their health records, and allowing providers to be in touch with patients, the press release adds.
The HIPAA-compliant platform, also allows access for physicians, caseworkers and utilization nurses to clinical data from patient medical records, lab results and in-home telemetry devices for those with chronic disease, including real-time risk assessments, wellness advice, diagnosis and treatment, the press release reports.
Some experts recommend just having a virtual receptionist, but MDLIVE is going all the way.
"The insurance industry is moving towards a model of quality healthcare delivery that requires a close collaboration between all members of the healthcare ecosystem, including patients, physicians, employers and payers," said Randy Parker, MDLIVE CEO, in the press release. "Now patients can have convenient and timely access to a medical professional who has their medical history and utilizes treatment protocols that have been proven to produce the best possible medical outcomes."
John Sculley, former Apple (News - Alert) CEO and an MDLIVE board member and investor, takes it one step further, saying, "We're witnessing a transformational moment in healthcare, where all of the members of the value chain are coming together in new and productive ways that benefit patients, the healthcare industry and our nation as a whole.”
On the plus side, virtual offices can allow physicians to save money, eliminating the need for a physical space, and more funds to invest in other areas of their practices. On the other hand, however, patients could see it as being “cheap,” or too greedy to spend money on an office.
And then there are the experts who believe medical care is too impersonal and can miss too much when patients are not seen face-to-face.
But in this new world of regulations and rules and the technology that enables us to be available (whether we like it or not) 24/7, a virtual office can make sense.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman