The Doctor Will See You In Walmart - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile

The Doctor Will See You In Walmart

Retailer rolls out telemedicine services in selected stores that give shoppers access to doctors through videoconferencing technology.

10 Wearable Devices To Keep Patients Healthy
10 Wearable Devices To Keep Patients Healthy
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
It's the weekend and you've gotten a nasty cold with a high temperature and need to see a doctor, but you also need to buy milk, eggs, and bread. Walmart's telemedicine services now give new meaning to the term "one-stop shopping."

In an interview, officials at telehealth provider Telemed Ventures said the company is currently leasing space in two Walmart stores where doctors can examine shoppers via videoconferencing services provided by Telemed Ventures and their technology partner, BCS Global Networks.

The services will be provided at Walmart’s Bensalem, Penn., store where Telemed will offer services that allows doctors to examine patients with minor illnesses. There are also plans for Telemed Ventures to offer telehealth services at Walmart’s supercenter in Willow Grove, Penn., which is currently under construction.

[ To find out which medical apps doctors and patients are turning to, see 9 Mobile Health Apps Worth A Closer Look. ]

Walmart spokesperson, Deisha Galberth Barnett says, "Whether a space leased by Telemed, McDonald's, or a nail salon, our goal is to offer products and services that lead to a positive, one-stop-shopping experience for our customers. This includes convenient, affordable access to health care services in two of our Pennsylvania stores through Telemed Ventures. We're committed to providing Walmart customers with affordable access to health care solutions."

BCS Global's managed visual collaboration tools enable remote video consultations between a patient and doctor through a lifelike, virtual face-to-face video interface. BCS Global's service enables Telemed to use its Smart Care Doc technology, which provides a reliable and secure visual collaboration platform for patients, nurses, doctors, and healthcare providers.

In an interview, Darrell Jennings, chief operating officer at Telemed Ventures, said Walmart was interested in working with the company because of its ability to provide a robust platform along with qualified healthcare providers at an attractive price, when compared to the expense that Walmart would incur if it hired dedicated doctors and nurse practitioners at Walmart's clinics. Patients will pay $59 to see a teledoctor, which is approximately 40% less than what similar types of clinics with nurse practitioners are charging, officials say.

Under the agreement, Telemed Ventures will provide nurses and doctors that are part of Telemed's network of clinicians.

A customer can visit a clinic located within the Walmart store and start the examination process by opening a new electronic health record (EHR). Patients enter their name, medical history, medication history, and information about their complaint. A nurse on staff conducts a preliminary examination that includes taking blood pressure, temperature, weight, and other vital signs before the videoconference session begins.

"We collect the patients' vitals with devices that are electronically tied to the computer at the clinic and then all those vitals are uploaded into the patients' medical record in the cloud," Jennings told InformationWeek Healthcare. "The doctor sees that information during the videoconferencing session and, based on the information, the doctor can make a diagnosis, prepare an electronic prescription, enter notes into the EHR, and if the patient needs further attention, refer a patient to a specialist."

Jennings also said patients can access records of their visit through a personal health record (PHR) that the system provides. The patient can then access the PHR on a home computer or tablet.

The technology uses a virtual private cloud computing model provided by Amazon that stores patient data and is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant, Aleksey Konovalov, Telemed Ventures' chief architect, said in an interview.

"We want to make sure that sensitive data such as patient information is transmitted over a secure, encrypted connection and that the information is securely stored and managed [with password authentication codes] that only designated people with certain rights and permissions can have access to," Konovalov said.

In a statement, Clive Sawkins, CEO of BCS Global, said, "This innovative service eliminates the patient's burden of having to travel to out-of-the-way clinics, or sit in waiting rooms anticipating whether their name will be called next."

Get the new, all-digital Healthcare CIO 25 issue of InformationWeek Healthcare. It's our second annual honor roll of the health IT leaders driving healthcare's transformation. (Free registration required.)

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Brucella
50%
50%
Brucella,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/5/2012 | 9:26:46 PM
re: The Doctor Will See You In Walmart
Is it just me, or does anyone else see the irony of "lifelike" and "interface" used in the same sentence. And when did "price" become "price point?" Jesh.
justaskjul
50%
50%
justaskjul,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/5/2012 | 5:21:24 PM
re: The Doctor Will See You In Walmart
I love this! I would hope that some day it goes even a step further to allow for telemed visits in home. I know we wouldn't have access to a connected BP machine or thermometer or other peripheral devices but we could use our own and show physician. I would pay for this service just not to have to visit an already germy waiting room of patients while I am sick.

Julie
InformationWeek contributor.
Slideshows
Top-Paying U.S. Cities for Data Scientists and Data Analysts
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  11/5/2019
Slideshows
10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/1/2019
Commentary
Study Proposes 5 Primary Traits of Innovation Leaders
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/8/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Video
Current Issue
Getting Started With Emerging Technologies
Looking to help your enterprise IT team ease the stress of putting new/emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning and IoT to work for their organizations? There are a few ways to get off on the right foot. In this report we share some expert advice on how to approach some of these seemingly daunting tech challenges.
Slideshows
Flash Poll