Cleveland Clinic has extended the functionality of its MyCare Online platform from its previous function, second opinions (see: MyConsult Online Medical Second Opinion), to Ohio residents for urgent care (see: Cleveland Clinic opens up its mHealth platform; Cleveland Clinic launches urgent care video visits app for Ohio residents). It also serves as a telemedicine platform for current patients to be seen by their physicians. Below is an excerpt from the press release discussing this change:
The Cleveland Clinic is taking MyCare Online out of beta and opening up mHealth access to anyone in Ohio. The online service is available through the Cleveland Clinic MyCare app, downloadable from the health system's web site, Apple's App Store or Google Play. It offers 24-hour-a-day access via secure video link to a healthcare provider through a mobile device, tablet or desktop PC, at a cost of $49. American Well is providing the technology platform and healthcare professionals for the 24-hour telehealth hotline. Some of the health system's doctors have been testing MyCare Online with their patients, primarily for post-surgical checkups.“It’s tremendously more convenient, because people can be seen from home or work. For certain conditions, there’s no need to drive anywhere,” Peter Rasmussen, the clinic's medical director for distance health, said in a press release..... (To see a video of Rasmussen using MyCare Online, click here). MyCare Online “makes the geographical location and time of day a patient needs care largely irrelevant,” added Rasmussen, a neurosurgeon and director of the Cerebrovascular Center at Cleveland Clinic.
MyCare Online seems to have evolved to serve patients in the following way: a site for patients seeking a second opinion from Cleveland Clinic physicians; a site for existing Cleveland Clinic patients to be seen by their physicians; a site for Ohio residents seeking urgent care. This is a logical progression for a telemedicine service as staff physicians grow familiar with the technology and also as a means to smooth out technical kinks in the system.
Interestingly, it has been announced that MyCare Online can sync data from Apple’s HealthKit. This allows patients, if they choose, to share their self-collected health information with the provider during their online visit. A few months ago, Cleveland Clinic Innovations, a business unit at the Cleveland Clinic, partnered with the Global Healthcare Innovations Alliance to launch a new e-commerce platform called ADEO. Through the ADEO website, both caregivers and patients can purchase healthcare tools including patient-facing mobile apps. The store quietly launched last October.
It's also interesting that the Cleveland Clinic turned to American Well to provide its video network rather than developing its own network. So now we see a large health system like the Cleveland Clinic offering physician services to its own patients as well as urgent care to all Ohio residents. This will obviously provide an opportunity to recruit more patients for the system. In a previous post, I discussed how the Clinic was branching out from its previous commitment to specialized care to more general care and MyCare Online is an important step in achieving that goal (see: Cleveland Clinic Broadens Its Mission and Reduces Costs).