Health: Telemedicine Program Arrives in Tampa Bay
What if you could be at your home, school, ofﬁce or traveling with family, the list is endless. Tampa General Hospital and American Well have made that idea a reality. You can now access a doctor with
your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Tampa General Hospital is providing urgent medical services to patients using online video in partnership with American Well. TGH Virtual Care allows patients suffering from non-emergent medical conditions to link to board-certiﬁed doctors from Online Care Group, American Well’s nationwide medical afﬁliate.
The interactive service employs high deﬁnition video that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through a mobile app on electronic devices using the web.
TGH Virtual Care users will interact with board-certified physicians using secure, live video while at home, work or on the road. Doctors will review the patient’s clinical information, devise a treatment plan, prescribe medications as needed and suggest follow-up care.
“We want to expand ways people can access medical services quickly, conveniently and at a lower cost than a trip to the hospital,” said Jim Burkhart, President and CEO of Tampa General. “It offers medical care after regular business hours and over the weekend from anywhere with an internet connection.”
TGH Virtual Care is set up to treat non-emergencies including upper respiratory conditions like bad colds, the ﬂu, bronchitis and sore throats. Doctors will also virtually treat earaches, eye infections and body aches and pains, to name just a few conditions.
A Harris Poll of about 2,000 adults conducted for American Well in 2015 found that 64 percent of American consumers were willing to visit a doctor using video telehealth. The poll also found that 21 percent of consumers would select a video visit over a trip to the emergency room. That number rises to 30 percent for parents of children under 18. The poll also concluded that 70 percent of people surveyed would rather have an online video visit than go to a doctor’s ofﬁce to get their common primary care prescriptions.
“Patients are using technology every day to access services on-demand and TGH Virtual Care is yet another new example. The idea of bringing care to the patient—wherever they may be—is especially appealing to consumers. With TGH Virtual Care, Tampa General Hospital is continuing to offer word-class healthcare by bringing it deeper into the communities it serves,” said Danielle Russella, President, of client solutions, at American Well.
Once again the Tampa Bay area proves to be on the leading edge of health care technology.