Telemedicine has been a significant success story in the past few years. Telemedical remote access for specialist consults, rehab support, and post-discharge remote patient monitoring are among the early poster applications of the growing technology. Telemedicine’s advance preceded the COVID-19 pandemic, but the timing was fortuitous because it can be a great help during a period when medical professionals tell us not to leave home unless necessary. In 2019 we wrote about a rapid increase in physician adoption of telemedicine and telehealth. We covered Tyto Care’s partnership with Best Buy to sell the TytoHome Medical Exam Kit to measure vital signs and examine patients at home, along with an app to consult with a TytoHome physician.

MedWand Solutions, Inc, based in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, recently announced a telemedicine home diagnostic kit that extends the application of its MedWand portable diagnostic device. In the initial consumer release, expected this fall, pending FDA approval, the Medwand kit will work with Android smartphones, with iOS support planned later in the year. The MedWand device includes a stethoscope, otoscope, dermatoscope, throat illuminator with a camera, IR thermometer, ECG, and a pulse oximeter. To use the home diagnostic kit, a patient connects with a MedWand physician, who directs the patient in using the device to self-examine. The patient and physician both see the MedWand test results on their respective mobile device displays, and the physician can then diagnose, recommend treatment, or suggest further action.

According to MedWand, the company stores the exam data and doctor/patient recordings in the company’s HIPAA-compliant cloud-based security system for later access by either. Patients will also be able to perform guided self-exams to send to their healthcare professionals later.

MedWand has not released pricing plans for the platform. It seems likely patients will subscribe to the service, which will provide the hardware plus a base amount of physician access, with extra charges based on a schedule. The advantage of self-testing to send clinical-grade medical data to clinicians is huge, even in non-pandemic times. That advantage multiplies when it helps protect all involved by making telehealth sessions more effective, reducing the risk of exposure during in-office visits.