Telehealth provider American Well’s announcement this week of a pair of partnerships with health technology provider Royal Philips and electronic health records solutions developer Netsmart, build upon its strategy of creating a global healthcare community that can treat patients through its telehealth platform, the company says.
“The connected care opportunity is a global opportunity with 50% or more of global ambulatory visits amenable to telehealth,” American Well says. “A number of our existing pharma and medical device partners are looking to extend their digital health services globally. Physicians seeking a second opinion digitally represent a large growth opportunity globally.”
American Well took its first step towards implementing its global telehealth strategy with the launch of the Exchange, its telehealth marketplace, in 2016.
The Exchange allows patients to virtually interact with a clinician of their choice at any Exchange member locally or across state lines. A pediatrician in Nemours Children’s Health System in Florida, for example, can virtually consult with a patient of the Cleveland Clinic through each hospital’s respective telehealth system.
By partnering with American Well, Philips can add mobile telehealth technology to its healthcare products to improve patient outcomes, the company says. The first product Philips will add telehealth capabilities to is uGrow, a baby and parenting app designed to support the healthy development of babies by providing parents with such health data on their infants as temperature and sleep patterns tracked by connected devices.
The uGrow app connects with several wireless devices, such as Philips’ Avent smart baby monitor, smart ear thermometer to gather data, and Amazon’s Echo for Voice input and activation. Philips plans to add its Avent Natural smart feeding bottle that automatically monitor the time, volume and duration of a baby’s feeds, later this year.
American Well will provide a secure, real-time video connection through uGrow to a healthcare professional, such as pediatrician, adult medical doctor or mental health specialist or lactation/breast feeding consultant, online or via mobile phone, around the clock, 7 days a week.
For mental health and lactation consultations, users will need to schedule an appointment in most cases, Philips says. For other consultations, users can speak to a doctor immediately, or worst case, less than 5 minutes, depending on availability.
“With the addition of telehealth, Philips can now offer everything from data collection to care provision and clinical intervention,” says American Well CEO Ido Schoenberg. “Together we are helping providers and payers improve their care model by using a broader and more accurate data set, which will be analyzed more quickly to effectively close the loop with patients.”
The cost of a telehealth visit for a patient through uGrow is expected to range from $59 and $130, depending on the practice, and based on American Well’s standard pricing, Philips says. To pay for a consultation, patients provide their insurance details and payment information in the uGrow app.
American Well’s partnership with Overland, Kansas-based Netsmart to connect their respective networks extends American Well’s strategy of embedding telehealth into electronic health records so providers can practice telehealth seamlessly within their existing system and workflows, the company says. It also gives the company a strong presence in the behavioral health and long term care market.
“Allowing providers to connect directly from their existing Netsmart EHR to both their existing and new consumers is key to our vision of making telehealth seamless and ubiquitous,” says Schoenberg. “We see huge opportunities to grow the exponential power of the network.”
American Well says it will provide scheduled and on-demand access to telehealth visits as appropriate for each use cas
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