This week I sat down with the founder of MedZed, a hybrid telemedicine platform that enables parents with sick children to receive care for their child with an in-home RN who establishes a remote link with a physician. Today, there are a growing number of urgent care centers available, along with after-hours pediatric care centers. These care centers are typically better options than being seen in an emergency room where wait times and exposure to very ill patients are a concern.
However, urgent care centers also frequently come with a long wait and exposure to numerous sick persons in the waiting room as well. Telemedicine is a health care delivery model where patients interface with a provider via phone and/or face-to-face video conferencing platform that allows patient and doctor to see each other. This week’s guests joined us to talk about how they are innovating with this technology to deliver quality health care in a patient’s home.
With the MedZed platform (and soon a mobile app) parents with sick children can request an in-home examination of their children. After a phone triage conversation, a registered nurse or nurse specialist is dispatched to the home to conduct the exam. The in-home clinician links up with the patient’s physician (when that practice is a MedZed participant) or a thoroughly-vetted, experienced pediatrician on the MedZed medical staff (when the patient’s physician office is NOT a MedZed participant).
Once in the home the nurse establishes an internet connection using either the family’s connection if available or by cellular wi-fi if in-home internet is absent or inadequate. Via the communications link, the physician is able to view the results of otoscopic exams, listen to their stethoscope, and see vitals all in real time. This portal also gives the patient and family the ability to also see what is being visualized by the exam, offering educational opportunities and a decreased measure of anxiety.
We talked about the fact that as more diagnostic equipment such as radiographic devices become more mobile, the scope of care that will be able to be delivered in the home will expand dramatically. This will serve to reduce use of ER and urgent care for more acute, complex complaints. The service is offered as fee-for-service—patients pay using credit cards when the care is delivered. In some cases third party insurors will reimburse for part or all of the visit, depending on plan.
Scott Schnell, CEO, Co-founder of MedZed
- BGS, Accounting & History, University of Michigan
- Former CPA
- Previous SVP/ CFO of Simply Floored
- Previous Chairman/CEO of Pike Family Nursing
Tiffany Holland, RN at MedZed
Katarina Quinterno, Parent, MedZed client