Walmart clinics go live with the cloud

It's about to get a bit cloudy for Walmart retail stores. Instead of bringing rain, however, these clouds are precipitating something much more promising: The retail giant announced it has gone live with cloud-based technology in its health clinics.

Dubbed Smart Care Doc, this technology, provided by BCS Global Networks Limited and Telemed Ventures, will enable remote video consultations between a patient and doctor through a virtual face-to-face video interface, over a secure video network. Users of the service have the ability to conduct telepresence-quality face-to-face interactions over the Internet using existing laptops, smartphones or tablets – making it a very affordable and accessibly solution for patients, doctors and healthcare providers.

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“We’ve extended the doctor visits over the internet," said Darrell Jennings, COO of Telemed Ventures. "Many companies have done the video and audio part of it, but not many companies have done the diagnostics, the integration part."

Patients receive all the benefits of a traditional doctor’s visit that they've come to expect: the ability to see a doctor instead of a less experienced practitioner, engaging the doctor in a face-to-face dialogue about medical issues, predictable/transparent pricing options, and the accurate acquisition of vitals and health information.

“My focus has always been to improve quality, enhance access, and lower cost of healthcare delivery by leveraging technology,” said Telemed Ventures founder and CEO, Raj Shah, MD. “The cost of healthcare has been spiraling in the U.S., yet we rank 19th in the world in healthcare outcomes. Our Smart Care Doc retail locations deliver an office visit for 40 to 50 percent less than the fee for traditional office visits by integrating diagnostic medical devices with a world class video network.”

[See also: Walmart Foundation takes EHRs to Baton Rouge.]

“Getting healthcare to the right people and the right time is key," added Clive Sawkins, CEO of BCS Global. "And technology over the years has been able to help with that. Being able to deliver medical expertise at the right price point and at the right level of comfort for the patient is what we want overall.”