Health IT

Cleveland Clinic partners with HealthSpot to expand the reach of its doctors

healthspot kioskTelemedicine company HealthSpot and Cleveland Clinic are launching a joint venture intending to use telehealth technologies to reach more patients.

“Together we will be researching the vast amount of new point-of-care technology and developing new ways to integrate that into our solution,” said HealthSpot CEO Steve Cashman in a statement.

The telemedicine kiosk is a free-standing 8’x5′ station staffed by an attendant. Inside, it’s equipped with a high-definition videoconferencing system and interactive digital medical devices including a scale, a blood pressure cuff, a thermometer, an otoscope, a stethoscope and a pulse oximeter.

People can walk up to it, without an appointment, and be connected to a remotely-stationed physician, who can diagnose and treat minor ailments like rashes and sore throats.

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The two organizations have been working together for the last year on a pilot project that put kiosks in three regional Cleveland Clinic locations. According to the Clinic, patients have expressed a 93 percent satisfaction rate with those stations.

A representative for the health system said there are more stations in the works for nontraditional healthcare settings including universities, employers and retail locations.

The joint venture is just one example of the traction that the Columbus, Ohio-based company is finding among providers. On Monday, it announced the launch of its first kiosk in California at an unnamed employer on Kaiser Permanente San Diego’s health plan.

While the industry is still waiting for payers to get on board with telemedicine, momentum among providers has been building quickly. (The latest example: Mercy Health recently broke ground on a $50 million center devoted to delivering telemedicine to rural and underserved areas.)

And HealthSpot is just one of the many companies helping them do it. It’s running 12 stations within seven health systems, a HealthSpot rep said, including two of the Clinic’s regional rivals.

[Image credit: HealthSpot]

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