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Intermountain becomes telehealth provider in a big way

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Utah's Intermountain Healthcare, one of the country's biggest health systems, has become a major provider of telehealth services, including direct to the consumer.

Intermountain Healthcare has quietly become a major telehealth provider.

The Utah health system, one of the country's biggest, offers a broad range of telehealth provider services, including direct-to-consumer, remote patient monitoring and clinician-to-clinician services such as intensive care.

Intermountain took a big step toward becoming a full-service telehealth provider in January 2016, when it rolled out its Connect Care service offering around-the-clock, urgent care video consults to patients in Utah and Idaho for $49.

Brian Wayling, Intermountain's vice president for telehealthBrian Wayling

In this SearchHealthIT podcast, recorded at the mHealth + Telehealth World Congress conference in Boston, Brian Wayling, Intermountain's vice president for telehealth, calls that new direct-to-consumer telehealth service "urgent care on demand."

These real-time video visits -- some powered by technology from the American Well telehealth network -- can by followed up by asynchronous data exchanges, Wayling notes.

Wayling says in the podcast that Intermountain is introducing large-scale remote patient monitoring for various patient populations this year and in 2017.

These telehealth provider programs will include patient-generated data produced by wearable devices, of both clinical and consumer grade.

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cardiovascular conditions are already part of remote patient monitoring programs, and Intermountain plans to extend the telehealth provider service to patients with diabetes and other conditions.

"Intermountain has committed to population health as our core strategy," Wayling says, and telehealth services are an integral part of that.

Also available soon will be scheduled telehealth visits with clinicians, an important part of Intermountain's delivery of telehealth services because of the broad rural areas the healthcare system serves, Wayling said at a panel presentation at the conference.

Wayling also notes in the podcast that many of Intermountain's remote patient monitoring services go through a specialized portal for patients in the EHR from Cerner Corp. on which Intermountain has standardized all its patient health records.

"We want to simplify the patient experience as much as possible," he says.

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Telehealth devices and services shown at ATA 2016