| April 20, 2019

Teladoc Health and Cincinnati Children’s to build first pediatric telemedicine platform

Anca Spanu

Anca's career in journalism spans over 2 decades. She has served as staff writer, editor and deputy chief editor at... Anca's career in journalism spans over 2 decades. She has served as staff writer, editor and deputy chief editor at various media outlets all over the world. At Healthcare Weekly, Anca writes about current events, innovations in the healthcare space and events/ conferences with a focus on investing & startups.

Teladoc Health, the global leader in virtual care, announced on April 11th its collaboration with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (Cincinnati Children’s) to develop the industry’s first consumer pediatric telehealth platform. Cincinnati Children’s, ranked number two on U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best Children’s Hospitals, will bring their expertise to help evolve the Teladoc Health licensed platform for pediatric needs.

Telemedicine, trends and evolution

Telemedicine has the potential to save lives, as Joseph Truscelli, the CEO @HelloAlvin, a leading telemedicine provider powered by Teladoc, explained in the latest episode of the Healthcare Weekly Podcast.  

First mentioned in 1924 in a magazine article about the future of American medicine, it was something of a pipedream, but their predictions couldn’t have been more accurate.

Now, over 70 percent of healthcare businesses have implemented telemedicine in some manner or other as a way of diversifying their practices and connecting with patients in ways that better suit them.

The core value of telemedicine is convenience for patients and physicians alike. Telemedicine allows patients to interact with doctors without having to wait for long periods of time in a physician’s office. Doctors can interact with more patients–often times improving the overall quality of care for a specific case.

Observers think they know why visits to doctors’ offices have been on the decline. They attribute this to the rapid growth of telemedicine over the years.

Two thirds of consumers would be willing to see a doctor over video—a practice that could dramatically cut down on the amount of time it takes to get care. Since the average in-office visit lasts 121 minutes, of which only 20 minutes are actually spent with the doctor, the rest being commute and waiting room time, it is not surprising more and more people choose telemedicine.

Pediatric hospitals need to incorporate telemedicine

Pediatrics is a field were telemedicine is much needed, but it should be customized to the specific needs of this category of patients.

“With the increased adoption of consumer telehealth, the time is now for pediatric hospitals to have a platform that is designed specifically to support the unique care needs and workflows they manage,” said Alan Roga, MD, president, Hospitals and Health Systems Teladoc Health. “When it comes to healthcare needs, children are not small adults. That’s why it is with a great deal of pride along with a sense of responsibility with which we take on this project, and we are committed to continually setting new standards for what’s possible in virtual care around the world.”

An interdisciplinary team, lead by Dr. Steve Davis, Chief Operating Officer of Cincinnati Children’s, will have an advisory role in the new endeavour. This will ensure that Cincinnati Children’s proven, pediatric clinical care expertise will go into the desired telemedicine platform. Its components will be pediatric-specific workflows, clinical requirements and user experience for patients and their families.

Children have specific medical needs that need catering

“Children are not small adults – they have unique needs,” says Alan Roga, MD, Teladoc Health’s president of hospitals and health systems. “And we’re seeing an unmet need in the (DTC telehealth) market for this type of service.”

Pediatric hospitals are trying to expand their reach and offer more services to parents looking for healthcare providers who know how to treat children.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is now doing exactly that, with help from Teladoc Health.

“With the increased adoption of consumer telehealth, the time is now for pediatric hospitals to have a platform that is designed specifically to support the unique care needs and workflows they manage,” Roga said in a press release announcing the partnership.

“Whether we’re treating a child who has a complicated diagnosis or treating and managing more common illness, our pursuit of the best outcomes means that our telehealth system should be tailored to pediatric needs,” explained Marianne James, SVP Information Services and CIO, Cincinnati Children’s. “Cincinnati Children’s, through our Center for Telehealth, continues to expand telehealth services for pediatric patients. We are proud to be at the forefront of bringing an innovative platform to market that will benefit other hospitals, children and families across the country.”

Teladoc Heath and Cincinnati Children’s will kick off platform development during the second quarter, with availability to other pediatric hospitals and medical centers targeted for early 2020.

About Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center ranks second in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S.News and World Report’s 2018-2019 Best Children’s Hospitals ranking. In addition, Cincinnati Children’s ranks first in the pediatric specialties of cancer and gastroenterology/GI surgery care. Founded in 1883, Cincinnati Children’s vision is to be the leader in improving child health, through patient care, research and education.

About Teladoc Health

A mission-driven organization, Teladoc Health, Inc. is successfully transforming how people access and experience healthcare, with a focus on high quality, lower costs, and improved outcomes around the world. The company’s award-winning, integrated clinical solutions are inclusive of telehealth, expert medical opinions, AI and analytics, and licensable platform services. With more than 2,000 employees, the organization delivers care in 130 countries and in more than 30 languages, partnering with employers, hospitals and health systems, and insurers to transform care delivery.


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