Monday, August 21, 2006

Off-Hours Clinic Uses Telemedicine

A new off-hours clinic, called Health-e-Station, uses telemedicine to treat patients quicker and less expensively than emergency departments, the Atlanta Journal- Constitution reports.

A patient who arrives at the clinic between 4 p.m. and 8 a.m. and is given a login and password to use a computer to answer medical history questions. A medical assistant then checks the patient's blood pressure before both consult via TV with a physician. The physician gives the assistant instructions like to put an otoscope in the patient's ear, point a camera down the throat or press an electronic stethoscope against the chest. Sensations are transmitted electronically and the physician is able to prescribe a treatment in less than 30 minutes.

A Health-e-Station visit costs $65. Currently, patients pay out-of-pocket, but the company is in discussions with insurers to cover the service. The first Health-e-Station opened this week in a shopping center in Peachtree City, Ga., and more are planned


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