HealthSpot is a company that has developed a telemedicine kiosk for consumers. Placed in retail settings, consumers can consult privately with a doctor to discuss symptoms and determine what course of treatment is required. The patient is given access to various devices such as remote cameras in order to provide the physician a closer look or more data about a condition.
According to a story from Plain Dealer Publishing, the company has now rolled out the first 25 kiosks in Rite Aid pharmacies throughout northeastern Ohio (which makes sense, given that the company is based in Ohio.) These 40-square-foot devices have already served about 5,000 customers for wellness checks and healthcare visits this year. The system is accepted by many insurance plans, including Medicaid. As the company founder reports, this results in a $60 kiosk visit instead of a trip to an emergency room that could cost insurers $600.
HealthSpot has already developed partnerships with wearable manufacturers, so it is likely that in the future, patients may be able to provide their personally-generated data to physicians as part of a their kiosk visit. The potential for this system to make medical help more accessible, more affordable, and more convenient for consumers could have an enormous impact on how healthcare is conducted in this country.