Care Convene: A Telehealth ApproachBy Jane Whitttington on July 13th, 2017 /
Telehealth. While this may be an unfamiliar word to most people, the concept of using telecommunications technologies to enhance healthcare and deliver virtual medical, educational, and health support services is definitely on the rise.
Chris Bailey, founder and CEO of Care Convene, has created a health technology company that develops user-friendly applications which give patients and healthcare providers a way to individualize care. Using a patient’s personal health record, on-demand chat/video consultations, health journaling, symptom tracking, and individualized health notifications, Care Convene can be a practical, convenient, efficient, and cost-effective way of delivering healthcare. Essentially, it is the modern version of the house call.
According to Bailey, “Our HIPAA compliant telehealth platform runs in the cloud and supports Android and iOS mobile devices. We bring patients and physicians together on our secure platform. While many interactions obviously require face-to-face contact, some can be handled using telehealth. By offering these services, we provide both the patient and physician a much easier and more convenient way of dealing with some issues. Our model is similar to Airbnb or Uber in that we connect the patient to the provider. There are no extensive contracts or hefty platform fees. We charge a transactional e-visit fee and offer some premium provider functions for managing specific populations. This model allows even the smallest practices to quickly and affordably offer telehealth services to their patients. It is so easy to set up and practices can start offering telehealth services to their patients within a day or two.”
Bailey conceived of the idea because of a personal experience. In a two-week period between jobs—employee healthcare insurance had ended for one job and had not yet started for another—his wife noticed a black spot on her fingernail. She tried to wait until her husband’s coverage began, but the spot became inflamed and was causing significant pain. She went to an urgent care center for treatment, and the cost of the visit plus treatment, and the cost of medication was billed at just under $800. With Care Convene, this same visit would have cost the family $50 and would have saved time and trouble.
Bailey says, “There’s a huge interest from physicians for this service, and we, of course, are working with physicians on this project. One thing we offer physicians is the opportunity to pick up new patients. In addition, under the current system, physicians are struggling to provide appropriate access to all levels of patient acuity. Some have chronic and/or low-severity problems which do not necessarily need a visit to the doctor, urgent care clinics, or the emergency room. These can be handled with Care Convene.”
Some issues which can be handled through the use of Care Convene include allergies, pink eye, insect bites and stings, sinus problems, rashes, and others.
Care Convene also gives patients the opportunity to develop a personal health record, which can be used to document and store visit information, whether fact-to-face or e-visits, treatments, medication records, and other significant healthcare details.
Bailey says, “The promise of telehealth is the ability to enable greater patient engagement and to deliver convenient, personalized, low-cost care. Using an access point like Care Convene can streamline a physicians’ use of time while still providing suitable treatment for the patient.”