ANYWHERE CARE: Virtual doctors make house calls of the future - WDRB 41 Louisville News

ANYWHERE CARE: Virtual doctors make house calls of the future

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Dr. Ben Green is part of a whole team of "virtual doctors" licensed in Kentucky but based in Seattle. Dr. Ben Green is part of a whole team of "virtual doctors" licensed in Kentucky but based in Seattle.
KentuckyOne Health's Anywhere Care program allows patients to video chat with a licensed doctor. KentuckyOne Health's Anywhere Care program allows patients to video chat with a licensed doctor.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Doctors are once again making house calls, but not in the way you might think.

New technology is allowing you to see a doctor from the comfort of your home. The only thing required? A computer.

"I feel a lot of pressure in my cheeks and in my head," said Mindy Jones, who is dealing with another sinus infection.

But instead of going to her doctor's office, she's getting a consultation at her kitchen table.

"It's virtual medicine so they can interface with a patient from just about anywhere," said Travis Burgett, director of strategy for KentuckyOne Health.

"This is how we do it. We use a video cam or web cam and it creates a face-to-face encounter with a patient," explained Dr. Ben Green via Skype.

It's KentuckyOne Health's "Anywhere Care" program.

"It's open to all residents in the state of Kentucky whether your current provider is with KentuckyOne or not," said Burgett.

The service isn't for the chronic or seriously ill but for more common ailments like, pink eye, a sinus infection or a cough you can't shake. 

Dr. Ben Green is one of a whole team of "virtual doctors" licensed in Kentucky but based in Seattle. They're available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Dr. Green can't physically touch Mindy so he asks a lot of questions and relies on a detailed medical history.

"In some situations I will use the patient to help me make diagnoses by doing self-examination. So they can feel their glands for me, they can shine a light in their eye, shine a light in your throat. We can look at a rash," he said.

Beyond the convenience factor, the best part of the service may be the price. It's a flat fee of just $35 to see a doctor. After about 20 minutes, Dr. Green writes Mindy a prescription.

"I thought it was easy. I didn't have to use my insurance benefits to do it," said Jones.

Doctors refer to it as the house call of the future.

"Patients are still seeing their providers in person but when they can't get it or their offices are closed that's when our visit activity really picks up," said Green.

Patients can also undergo a phone consultation with a doctor, where a webcam is not needed. 

For more information about Anywhere Care, click here.

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