The doctor will see you now…. from his webcam

Very soon, remote medical consultations via webcam and PC technology will be commonplace. The improvement in  technology – PC, webcam, high-speed broadband, software, privacy, electronic billing, all converge to enable patients and doctors to meet on the digital interface.

Tech giants such as Intel, GE, Microsoft, Philips are all getting into collaborative ventures to further this approach. Take a look at the article below on one such collaboration:

From Medgadget.com (http://www.medgadget.com/archives/2011/03/intelge_health_guide_platform_moves_to_pc.html)

As a result of a joint-venture between Intel and GE, Intel’s Health Guide platform is making the jump to personal computers. Intel and GE have just received FDA clearance for Intel Health Guide Express, a PC version of the Health Guide PHS6000 device we covered several times before (see links below). The system allows for vital signs collection, interactive patient health sessions, video conferencing capabilities and multimedia educational content within the patient’s home. It will allow for connection to specific models of wired and wireless medical devices, including blood pressure monitors, glucose meters, pulse oximeters, peak flow meters and weight scales. Data can be reviewed by the patient through an online service called Intel Health Care Management Suite, but can also be sent to a secure server for viewing by the doctor. By using the PC, the system will be more cost-effective than the previous version that required a dedicated device. It is planned to be commercially available in the second quarter of 2011.

Intel-GE Care InnovationsTM Receives FDA Market Clearance for Virtual Care Coordination Platform

3 March 2011

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Intel-GE Care Innovations LLC, the newly-formed joint venture from GE and Intel, today announced the receipt of 510(k) market clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the Intel® Health Guide Express. By making the system available on consumer off the shelf personal computers (PC), the Intel® Health Guide product category reaches a new level of customization that better responds to the growing needs in virtual care coordination.

“With this new platform, Intel-GE Care Innovations facilitates greater care coordination that gives healthcare organizations the ability to innovate and provide customized care”

“With this new platform, Intel-GE Care Innovations facilitates greater care coordination that gives healthcare organizations the ability to innovate and provide customized care,” said Louis Burns, chief executive officer of Intel-GE Care Innovations. “Since the newest version of the Intel Health Guide will be available on a variety of PC platforms, healthcare organizations can choose from numerous portable, inexpensive options, and have the ability to scale the solution to large populations. We are committed to meeting real-world needs in a cost-effective, sustainable way, and this solution comes directly from that commitment.”

This new approved version of the Intel Health Guide builds on the legacy of the Intel Health Guide PHS6000, helping healthcare professionals and patients better address the challenges of chronic care. Vital signs collection, interactive patient health sessions, video conferencing capabilities, and multimedia educational content will be available on consumer PCs, enabling healthcare organizations to choose multiple systems that best meet the needs of their patients in a cost-effective way.

“This 510(k) clearance brings us one step closer to commercial availability, which is targeted for the second quarter of 2011,” said Aaron Duerksen, general manager of disease management for Intel-GE Care Innovations. “The newest version of the Intel Health Guide will give healthcare organizations an easy-to-use solution that allows patients to experience high-quality, personalized healthcare in the home on the personal computer that best meets their needs.”

The Intel Health Guide product family offers a comprehensive solution for virtual care. The system combines an in-home patient device, now available on consumer PCs or the Intel Health Guide PHS6000, with the Intel Health Care Management Suite, an online interface that allows clinicians to monitor patients and remotely manage care. The in-home patient device can connect to specific models of wired and wireless medical devices, including blood pressure monitors, glucose meters, pulse oximeters, peak flow meters and weight scales. It stores and displays the collected information for the patient and sends to a secure host server, where healthcare professionals can review the information.

To learn more about Intel-GE Care Innovations, please visit www.careinnovations.com.

About Intel-GE Care Innovations

Intel-GE Care Innovations is a new company aimed at being a catalyst for changing care models. To do so, we create technology-based solutions that give people confidence to live independently. Intel-GE Care Innovations has been formed from a combination of GE Healthcare’s Home Health Division and Intel’s Digital Health Group. Today, we deliver products and services to support current and future care models in three core areas: disease management, independent living and assistive technologies. Visit www.careinnovations.com to learn more.