Every July for the last 10 years, a team of professionals from the University of Sao Paolo has returned to support the population of the Amazon rainforest.
Led by Dr. Milton Yogi, an ophthalmic surgeon based in San Paolo, they divided into nine strategic groups to meet the needs of 44 locations deep in the forest, including the tiny community of Santa Caterina. This year, 69 volunteers came, and they brought an innovation to the forest: VSee telemedicine.
With VSee, the volunteers had 24-hour access to a high-bandwidth satellite system, which connected them to doctors far away. Thanks to this new technology, it was possible for the first time to perform telemedicine in the rain forest by means of a webcam linked to nine doctors in Sao Paulo.
They created a use case that details their experiences using VSee telemedicine. Watch the video (in Portuguese) here:
Teladoc, one of the biggest telemedicine services around, recently closed a gratifying 50M in Series F funding for a total of 96.6M in venture capital. According to Venturebeat this is one of the largest raises for the digital health space this year. Hot competitor, Doctor on Demand, which offers a telehealth app for video doctor visits, also just finished raising 21M a few weeks earlier in August (also adding Sir Richard Branson to its list of celebrity investors).
Spurred by Obamacare, telehealth has been booming. Teladoc’s SEC filings reveal that the company brings in 25 to 100 million in sales. Its CEO Jason Gorevic stated that revenue has doubled every year for the past 2 years. Fortune reports that Teladoc recently signed up health insurance giants Aetna and Blue Shield of California, as well as companies Home Depot, T-Mobile, and pension fund CalPERS. Teladoc also boasts a waiting list for joining its network of 550 on call telemedicine providers.
The only fly in the ointment is Teladoc’s slow uptake in providing video doctor consultations. Earlier this year, it acquired major competitors Consult A Doctor and AmeriDoc, which also mainly provide doctor consultation services via phone. Meanwhile competitors like MDLIVE, American Well, HealthTap, and Doctor on Demand are quickly grabbing market share with their on-demand video doctor calls. (Video telemedicine was recommended by both the American Medical Association and Federation of State Medical Boards for first-time visits with a doctor.)
Perhaps this big boost in funding is what Teladoc needs to get it’s video telemedicine show on the road.
Inmarsat, the multi-billion dollar innovative satellite company, has partnered with VSee to provide telemedicine in the world’s most difficult to reach places. VSee has used Inmarsat’s BGAN, a satellite terminal the size of a laptop, in numerous missions from Nigeria to Syria to Latin America.
Inmarsat has just published a case study of the VSee+Inmarsat telemedicine work in the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Gabon – where we used vsee in numerous villages without electricity and only accessible by boat.
Inmarsat provided the satellite technology so that VSee’s doctor-in-a-box kits could transmit high-quality ultrasound images from the field to faraway doctors. Their BGAN network proved to be the perfect solution.
Now you can read a case study that follows VSee into Gabon, showing how Inmarsat puts its satellite network to work for humanitarian causes. This three-page case study is a quick and fascinating read.
Download the case study now.
VSee is featured in the Summer 2014 newsletter from the AHPBA. *
You can view the complete newsletter here. On pages 12 and 13, it tells of Dr. Gazi B. Zibari and his humanitarian trip to Iraqi Kurdistan, where he used VSee telemedicine and donated some VSee equipment to local health providers.
“The telemedicine equipment has helped the team to follow up with our patients, and also our team members are available for consultation via VSee.”
* Their acronym stands for “Americas-Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association.”
Hospitals are investing more than ever in telemedicine. That’s according to a new survey by the Healthcare Information and Management System Society (HIMSS). Over 57 percent of respondents said they were using two-way video and webcam technology, like that provided by VSee.
Read more about the survey results.
Source: Conor Ryan, AmericanActionForum.org
Jonah Comstock writes, “The results paint a picture of telemedicine slowly being adopted to fill niches in a healthcare system still very much focused on Meaningful Use.”
In addition, about 40 percent of respondents said they used telemedicine to fill in gaps in patient care. Read the complete HIMSS survey results for more information.