Telemedicine may replace physician house calls and emergency department visits but it also requires special-purpose technology and personnel who can the technology and relate to patients. Telehealth has spawned a new mobile device category that consists of mobile health sensors and examination tools, two-way video communications, and a HIPAA-compliant platform that enables a physician and patient to communicate securely. Whether they’re called Curavi telepresenters or Zipnostic care coordinators, these medical personnel who transport, set up, and operate mobile systems to interact with patients in their homes represent a new career path in healthcare.

New York City-based Zipnostic recruits emergency room physicians who confer with patients via a video setup. Zipnostic trains care coordinators to transport and use a proprietary mobile kit to the patient’s location. The kit contains hospital-grade examination equipment and is a modern version of the doctor’s bag. In addition to software that works with all the communications and medical equipment, the Zipnostic kit includes an ultra-high-resolution USB 3.0 camera for general, oral, dermatological, and otoscopic exams. Other components are a single system for listening to pulmonary, cardiac, and abdominal sounds, a 12-lead hospital-grade ECG, an ultrasound scanner, an oximeter, a spirometer, and more.

Zipnostic is currently running a pilot program in several New York City neighborhoods. Zipnostic’s on-call telemedicine model is a one-shop operation. The company recruits and trains care coordinators, recruits physicians, and markets the service to patients. The solution pitch for patients is that Zipnostic provides care at home at the patient’s convenience for a fraction of the cost of a visit to an emergency department or urgent care facility.