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Local News

Spectrum Health's MedNow good example of emerging technology in medicine

Technological advances in medicine include more electronic devices that will reach almost any location and perform functions once impossible to do. More people are using advanced technology and becoming comfortable with it. In the field of health, MedNow from Spectrum Health is an good example of telemedicine. There are two pieces to MedNow, e-Visits and Video Visits, Spectrum Health’s Stacee English said.

 

E-visits are done through a secure online messaging exchange with a medical provider who gives medical advice through a My Health account after completing a questionnaire describing your symptoms. E-visits are not for emergencies, urgent conditions or questions needing an immediate response.  An e-visit will never cost more than $25, English said.

 

A Video Visit provides direct, real time visits to a Grand Rapids-based Spectrum specialist for low acuity conditions. Idone through a webcam and smart phone, I-Pod, or computer, anywhere there is a strong internet connection, and requires an e-mail address, she said.

 

Using special computer equipment, a doctor can take vital signs and other tests with a patient and show the results to a specialist in Grand Rapids with sharp images that can be enlarged and sound that can be turned up.

 

Online primary care with a doctor 24/7 includes allergies, bites and stings, colds, cough and flu, heartburn, nausea/vomiting pink eye, rash and hives sinus problems, sprains and strains, fever and headache and more. A report of a MedNow visit is sent to the person’s primary care physician as part of their medical history and for physician follow up if necessary. The service is never more than $45.

 

There is no difference in quality of care using the technology, and tracking the use of antibiotics shows physicians prescribe less when using technology than during face to face visits, English said.

“Eighty percent are comfortable with the technology,” she added.

 

For more information and a complete lists of problems cared for by e-Visit or Video Visit, go to mednow.specturmhealth.org. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan and Priority Health offer coverage of e-Visit and Video Visits.

The telemedicine service is for any Michigan resident over the age of three.

 

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