A patient with chronic ailments generally sees several specialty physicians, whom often operate in silos. These individuals deal with scheduling different offices, finding reliable transportation, and the challenge of taking days off of work.
This general lack of convenience may deter the same patient from pursuing referral appointments following up on preventative care — for example, seeing an ophthalmologist for the vision issues that arise from diabetes.
Telmedix aims to fix this by offering a telemedicine platform that gets deployed right there at the primary care clinic. The company repurposes exam rooms, setting up stations for patients to receive eye care or ENT consultations immediately following a primary care visit.
“It gives the primary care patient a one-stop access to specialty medical service,” founder Dr. Keith Thompson tells Hypepotamus.
“Oftentimes we can do it the same day and the patient only needs to cross the hallway.”
Telmedix is already live at Oakhurst Medical Center in Georgia, which is geared towards the needs of underserved patients.
At this clinic, patients with diabetes are required to have annual retinal exams to keep track of the sight-threatening complications associated with diabetes.
Since Telmedix has entered Oakhurst Medical Center, they’ve seen an increase in eye exams in diabetic patients from 7 percent to 70 percent, says Dr. Thompson.
The cloud-based, HIPAA-compliant platform uses what Dr. Thompson calls, “a stack of diagnostic technology.”
The remote eye doctor conducts the eye exam over the platform with digitized examination tools. The platform then immediately bills insurors with the appropriate codes.
It also has an artificial intelligence component to help the doctor diagnose eye disease early on. The more patients the platform sees, the more it learns, Dr. Thompson says.
They’ve seen over 2,500 patients at just the Oakhurst Medical Center to date, almost one in three of whom have a sight-threatening disease.
The startup charges the clinic on a per-usage model, rather than upcharging the patient.
The small Atlanta-based team is currently raising a $2-3 million funding round to expand to five additional clinics.
“Some rural areas don’t even have easy access to a primary care doctor, much less medical specialists. Our platform in rural deployments could really help increase access to healthcare,” says Dr. Thompson.