Cleveland Clinic, American Well partner for 24-hour telemedicine

Twenty-four hour virtual medical visits are now available to Ohio-based patients of Cleveland Clinic from the comfort of their homes for half the price. The Clinic is the first hospital system in the state to offer such a program.

The service, called MyCare Online, is the product of a partnership between the Cleveland Clinic and Boston-based telemedicine company American Well and costs $49 per virtual visit, compared with an average urgent care visit totaling about $100 or more.

American Well's technology platform will provide contracted healthcare professionals who can diagnose symptoms such as cough, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever and headaches and offer treatment options, according to hospital officials. Depending on the seriousness of the condition, medicine can also be prescribed virtually via computer or smartphone.

"It's tremendously more convenient, because people can be seen from home or work," Peter Rasmussen, MD, medical director for distance health at Cleveland Clinic, said in a statement. "For certain conditions, there's no need to drive anywhere."

Cleveland Clinic is in the process of training its own medical professionals to use the technology and expects them to be online within the next month or so.

More articles on telemedicine:

Survey finds most consumers unfamiliar with telemedicine, but willing to test it out
Walgreens to expand telemedicine services to 25 states
Healthcare spending growth rate expected to dip in 2016

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