Mayo testing new way to treat minor conditions

Published 6:57 am Sunday, October 5, 2014

Austin’s medical center is testing a new way to treat patients for minor conditions through videoconferencing at workplaces.

Mayo Clinic debuted a new telemedicine pilot project called Mayo Clinic Health Connection, now available to staff at Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin. The Mayo Clinic Health Connection trials a telehealth delivery system to meet patient’s needs through the HealthSpot platform, which combines cloud-based software and a private walk-in kiosk that offer solutions to care for patients in their place of work.

“HealthSpot’s innovative technology will help control costs for employers and employees,” HealthSpot founder and CEO Steve Cashman said in a press release. “The HealthSpot station will connect people to Mayo Clinic in a new and convenient way.”

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The system will be piloted with Mayo Clinic Health System employees in Albert Lea and Austin before potentially being deployed to other local employers.

The Mayo Clinic Health Connection allows patients to connect with Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Health System providers through a private, walk-in kiosk that provides high-definition videoconferencing and interactive, digital medical devices. The kiosk enables highly trained Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Health System physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants to see and treat patients face-to-face in a variety of nontraditional health care settings.

“Mayo Clinic is committed to reducing health care expenses for employees and employers by improving access to medical services through convenient and more affordable care through Mayo Clinic Health Connection,” said Southeast Minnesota region Primary Care Service Line Chair Dr. Matt Bernard in a press release. “We are excited to offer innovative health care technology locally and to leverage resources across our system to better serve our patients. You’ll avoid waiting and time away from work, and still get the continuity of care you need from people you trust. This should decrease absenteeism, lower costs and increase wellness, a win-win for employers and employees when fully deployed.”

Patients can walk up to the kiosk without scheduling an appointment and be treated for minor, common health conditions, such as cold, earaches, sore throat, sinus infections, upper respiratory infections, rashes and skin conditions, and eye conditions.

“Mayo Clinic Health Connection provides convenient care from experts for common conditions, while saving the patient time and money. It’s the best of both worlds,” Bernard said in the release. “Together with HealthSpot’s secure telehealth platform, we will give patients a convenient way to access care where they spend most of their day and the visit information is integrated to the patient’s medical record.”

Mayo Clinic Health Connection is designed to meet the increased demand for access to health services locally.