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Visiting the doctor from home via Verizon video conferencing

June 26, 2014 | Telepresence Options

Verizon_telemedicine

Story and images by Tom Huddleston, Jr. / Fortune

Verizon introduces telemedicine for cheaper, quicker access to doctors for non-urgent medical care.

Verizon wants to help cut down on medical costs and wait times at the doctor's office.

The telecom giant has announced its arrival on the telemedicine scene by introducing Verizon Virtual Visits, a platform for connecting patients with clinicians via video-conferencing through an app for mobile devices and a web portal. The platform, unveiled on Wednesday, is intended for businesses looking to give their employees access to treatment of minor health problems like cold, flu, sore throat or other acute conditions that don't require a visit to the emergency room.

The company notes that the costs of emergency room visits for non-urgent care are expected to hit $4.4 billion this year, while a majority of those visits are unnecessary. The company says new patients are already waiting an average of 27 days to schedule a doctor's appointment and an increase in the number of insured patients in coming years is expected to create a greater shortage of physicians.

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