Legislators get look at 'extraordinary' mHealth technologies

By Eric Wicklund
10:33 AM

Capitol Hill legislators are getting an intimate look at the latest in mobile healthcare today with the appearance of the HealthSpot Station at the Consumer Electronics Association's 2013 CES on the Hill.

The mHealth kiosk, developed by Dublin, Ohio-based HealthSpot, will be stationed from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday in the cafeteria of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C., as part of the CEA's invitation-only event for lawmakers. In all, 22 companies will demonstrate their technology.

“Companies with extraordinary technologies were selected based on their product’s connection to today’s most pressing tech policy issues,” said Michael Petricone, senior vice president of government and regulatory affairs for the CEA, in a news release.  “Members of Congress, key Hill staff and top media will get rare hands-on demonstrations of Ultra HD and new technologies for medical solutions, electronics recycling, energy efficiency and more.”

[See also:Teladoc, HealthSpot team on telehealth.]

The 8-foot-by-5-foot walk-in kiosk connects patients to a certified physician through a two-way, high-definition video hookup and features interactive digital tools for the collection of vitals and other patient-generated data. Those tools include a scale, blood pressure cuff, thermometer, dermascope, otoscope, stethoscope and pulse oximeter. Officials see the kiosk being located in such high-traffic areas as community health centers and clinics, businesses, shopping centers and malls.

"HealthSpot has developed technology to produce the highest quality, lowest cost healthcare appointment on the market today. We're currently working with policymakers and payers in the ecosystem to get telehealth visits reimbursed the same way as a regular office visit," said Steve Cashman, CEO of HealthSpot, in in a news release. "We are honored to be invited to CES on the Hill to engage in telehealth policy conversations with decision makers. Ultimately, to keep costs from skyrocketing in America, we need to work with payers and policymakers to address the challenges that keep people from gaining access to affordable care."

Cashman unveiled the kiosk in January at the CEA's 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and also featured it in the exhibit hall at the 2013 HIMSS Conference and Exhibition last month in New Orleans. The company has partnerships in place with several innovative mHealth companies, including Sprint, 3M Littman, BodyMedia, Vidyo and Teladoc, and recently secured more than $10 million in Series C financing from investors that include Cardinal Health.

"Teladoc's focus is on providing options for customers to access non-emergency, primary care, and HealthSpot is a great complement to our current suite of solutions," said Jason Gorevic, CEO of Teladoc, in a news release. "Patients' lives have become increasingly busy and the HealthSpot Station provides our members with one more choice in how they interact with a physician – via a physical kiosk, along with our current telephone or secure video options. This offering will accelerate our vision of transforming healthcare by providing patients with access to affordable, high-quality care when, where and how they want."

[See also: Walmart to open health screening kiosks.]

The kiosks are now being used in at least two Cleveland-area programs, one offered by University Hospitals at Case Medical Center and the other coordinated by the Cleveland Clinic. In addition, HealthSpot is partnering with Miami Children's Hospital in a multi-phased project that will see 10 kiosks deployed in Miami and the Caribbean this year.

In that project, HealthSpot Stations will be used to coordinate with MCH's Global Telehealth Command Center to enable pediatric specialists to interact, counsel children and parents, write e-prescriptions for existing patients and consult with emergency rescue workers.


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