1st public telemedicine clinic opens in Alaska: 3 things to know

The first telemedicine clinic and kiosk available to the Alaskan public opened Dec. 12 in the Anchorage (Alaska) 5th Avenue Mall, KTUU-2 reports.

Here are three things to know about the telemedicine clinic.

1. The clinic, called Capstone Express, is owned by Wade Erickson, MD, co-founder of Wasilla, Alaska-based Capstone Family Medicine. At the telemedicine clinic, a patient will use digital stethoscopes and otoscopes to connect with a physician stationed at Capstone's physical Anchorage office.

2. Dr. Erickson selected Anchorage 5th Avenue Mall as the location for Capstone's first telemedicine clinic because there are few other medical services in Anchorage's central city grid, according to KTUU-2. He plans to continue to expand Capstone Express locations to other remote areas in Alaska.

3. Dr. Erickson's goal for the telemedicine clinic is to provide patients from remote areas with more convenient and less expensive medical care. If a patient is flagged as needing a more intensive level of care, a physician will also help the patient schedule an in-person appointment.

"We can save an [emergency room] visit, which is thousands of dollars, or even an urgent care visit, which is usually hundreds of dollars, for some of the simple things," Dr. Erickson told KTUU-2.

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