By Megan Williams, contributing writer
Always a leader in healthcare technology and patient-centered care, the Mayo Clinic has recently launched a new initiative aimed at providing patients with “real-time interactive communication with healthcare providers.” The initiative uses high-definition videoconferencing done via digital medical devices housed in kiosks in a walk-in setting.
While telemedicine is nothing new, the platform is being developed expressly for the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Health System (Austin, MN) with the goal of reducing healthcare costs while simultaneously boosting medical service. The service, named “HealthSpot” will be hosted via cloud-based software.
According to Matt Bernard, M.D., Southeast Minnesota region Primary Care Service Line chair, “Mayo Clinic is committed to reducing health care expenses for employees and employers by improving access to medical services through convenient and more affordable care through Mayo Clinic Health Connection. We are excited to offer innovative health care technology locally and to leverage resources across our system to better serve our patients. You’ll avoid waiting and time away from work, and still get the continuity of care you need from people you trust. This should decrease absenteeism, lower costs and increase wellness, a win-win for employers and employees when fully deployed.”
Ultimately, the system will allow patients to access private, walk-in kiosks at their places of work, giving them access to “highly trained” Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Health System physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants in nontraditional healthcare settings. No appointment is necessary, and patients can be treated for minor and common health issues including cold, earache, sore throat, sinus infection, upper respiratory infection, rash, and skin and eye conditions.
“Mayo Clinic Health Connection provides convenient care from experts for common conditions, while saving the patient time and money. It’s the best of both worlds,” says Bernard. “Together with HealthSpot’s secure telehealth platform, we will give patients a convenient way to access care where they spend most of their day and the visit information is integrated to the patient’s medical record.”
For additional information on station hardware, software, and how the HealthSpot network functions, visit the HealthSpot website here.