As telecommunications continues to improve, it seems that telemedicine will continue to become more and more common in our lives. For example, HealthSpot has teamed up with Rite Aid to open and operate telemedicine booths in 25 of Rite Aid’s pharmacies.
Like their name suggests, the telemedicine booths are meant to enable their users to interact with physicians without having to head into their practices. Each booth comes with a teleconferencing connection plus instruments such stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, and high-definition cameras, which combine to ensure that HealthSpot’s physicians can approximate an in-person examination for less serious issues. Furthermore, the booth is enclosed, which ensures that the user is comfortable while speaking with said professionals about their issues.
There are a number of reasons to believe that this setup will become more and more popular in the future. For users, there is the matter of convenience since pharmacies are so much more common than medical practices. For pharmacies, it makes economic sense since telemedicine booths can provide a significant portion of the same services as on-location staff in exchange for a small fraction of the cost. After all, each booth takes up a small amount of square footage while needing little more than a cleaning attendant to keep running.
This is supported by initial feedback from the test cities of Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Dayton, and Springfield, which has been positive. Furthermore, the fact that HealthSpot has managed to raise $20.7 million from corporate investors since November of 2014 through spring of 2015 suggests that other businesses see potential in this setup.
For now, the telemedicine booths remain limited to the state of Ohio. However, it seems that their operation will see continuous improvement as the collaboration between HealthSpot and Rite Aid continues, which bodes well for their future prospects in the state of Ohio as well as the rest of the United States.