No one can deny it; doctor visits are time consuming, expensive, inconvenient and tiresome, more so if you have to visit them for simple health issues. Most of us rarely suffer from anything else except a cold, flu or a sore throat, which do require some sort of medical attention. Verizon, America’s largest carrier, is now giving individuals a way to connect virtually with clinicians using telemedicine.
Verizon Virtual Visits provides an easy, convenient and cost-effective way for patients to be seen remotely by a physician. Patients who may not otherwise care to see a clinician (for different reasons) can now do so conveniently via video on their smartphone, tablet or computer. With life-like interactions with clinicians, simple conditions can be discussed and treated.
What is rather attractive about Verizon Virtual Visits is that it is not very much different from visiting a retail clinic or a primary care doctor. Patients can connect online with a clinician through a secure app on their smartphone or tablet, or via a Web portal. Once they are connected, they are taken through a series of health –related questions and a video-chat discussion with the clinician follows. After evaluation of the patient, he/she sends an e-prescription to a pharmacy chosen by the patient.
Confidentiality and security is ensured during the online visit and subsequently as the data shared by the patient and clinician is encrypted and stored in Verizon's HIPAA-enabled Cloud 3. Clinicians are required to use two-factor authentication when they log in to establish contact with patients.
Hence, patients, payers, providers, self-insured employers – all of them can now benefit by using Verizon’s enterprise-class technology solution in a secure and reliable way.
With recent studies showing that as many as 62 million Americans have difficulty accessing primary and preventative care and with 27 days as the average time for a new patient to schedule an appointment, Verizon’s Virtual Visits will hopefully come as a great boon to patients in mild distress.
The benefits do appear to be considerable: patients can get medical attention anytime, anywhere, the burden on clinical staff is reduced, clinicians are less stressed, visits to emergency rooms for non-urgent care is reduced, time and money is saved, and most importantly quality of healthcare is improved.
At a time when the healthcare industry is challenged with government regulations and rising costs, Virtual Visits could breathe some fresh air into an otherwise complex system.