Telemedicine interest surges during Hurricane Irma

Jacksonville, Fla.-based Nemours Children's Health System noted a 554 percent increase in installations of its telemedicine app, CareConnect, when Hurricane Irma struck the state, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Nemours Children's Health System was one of a few local healthcare organizations to offer residents free remote services leading up to the tropical storm.

"At peak demand, four Nemours providers were talking with patients while another three to five callers waited on line for each," a health system spokesperson told Becker's in an emailed statement.

Other local hospitals also saw patient interest in telemedicine services rise in the wake of the hurricane. At Orlando-based Florida Hospital, more than 2,700 people signed up for its eCare services between Sept. 8 and Sept. 10. 

"The big lesson for us was how valuable [telemedicine] can be during disasters," Scott Brady, MD, medical director and CEO of Florida Hospital's Centra Care urgent care, which staffs eCare, told the Orlando Sentinel.

More articles on telehealth: 

Health IT, telehealth groups support bill to expand telehealth under Medicare Advantage plans

2 Florida hospitals provide free telehealth services through Friday

6 groups respond to telehealth expansion under 2018 proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

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