Long Island Select boosts telehealth use with upgraded tech

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Long Island Select Healthcare started a telemedicine program in 2014 with the aid of financial grants from the state government.

The organization—a federally qualified health center with eight sites serving low income and underserved individuals around Central Islip in New York—contracted with Medpod, which offers a mobile cart telehealth platform that essentially is a suitcase containing technology that enables a telehealth consultation in almost any setting, says James Powell, MD, chief medical officer at Long Island Select.

Now, the vendor has developed a next-generation mobile cart, called Mobile Doc2, with a larger suitcase to hold newer dermatoscopes, electrocardiograms and other diagnostic tools needed to capture vital signs. It also can manage mobile cellular service, Wi-Fi, live video, audio, clinical and lab data streaming, remote telediagnostic device controls and access to a web browser.

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Mobile Doc2 also integrates with Uber Health, which offers Medpod access to Uber Health’s browser-based online dashboard, enabling integration of the Uber Health service directly into Medpod’s end-to-end telediagnostics platform. Practitioners with a MobileDoc or MobileDoc2 can dispatch an Uber driver to a patient’s location or arrange for a patient to be driven to a clinical setting.

"The degree of care comfort for the patient, and how deep diagnoses can be with a higher level of lung sounds and better examinations of rashes brought quality to a new level,” Powell contends. That’s important when the practice treats those with serious and complex health issues.

Patient engagement has improved, Powell believes, noting that patients tell physician more about their health than they generally may. He also likes that combining the brick and mortar of the practice and the use of virtual care technologies creates the opportunity for better outcomes.

As a federally qualified health center serving Medicaid patients, Long Island Select anticipates a better reimbursement mechanism that will help the practice move toward value-based care and further improve outcomes, Powell believes.

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