Wellpoint will begin rolling out a Webcam consultation service by offering LiveHealth Online through its subsidiary, Woodland Hills, Calif.-based Anthem Blue Cross.

The LiveHealth Online service, a two-way video service for patient consultations, will enable patients to choose a physician and initiate a video conference via a computer Webcam. Wellpoint plans to enable the service to run on smartphones and tablets sometime in 2013.

The service is based on technology from American Well. LiveHealth Online, like similar programs from large insurers such as Aetna and UnitedHealth Group, is designed for consultations for relatively minor conditions, such as sinus infections and cold and flu. The insurer says a complete record of each online encounter will be created, and with the patient’s permission be forwarded to their primary care doctor.

Anthem Blue Cross will launch LiveHealth Online in the first quarter of 2013 initially to small and large-group fully-insured customers and self-funded national employers. Doctors will offer members live consultations from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, including on holidays.

Indianapolis-based Wellpoint, which operates in 14 states, did not set a firm launch table for broader rollout.

 

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