Nautilus offers telemedicine for free during Covid-19 outbreak
April 7, 2020
California-based Nautilus Medical is offering its TeleRay telemedicine service for free for the treatment of patients during the Covid-19 outbreak. The product complies with the Telehealth Services During Certain Emergency Periods Act of 2020.
Telehealth technologies are available everywhere for any healthcare provider willing to commit to implementing a system. However, some systems require new hardware, long contracts, training and disruptive set up times. In light of this, and the immediate need for telehealth, some providers have turned to Zoom, Facetime, WeChat and WhatsApp.
These are suitable for short-term use. However, they are not long-term options due to HIPAA compliance, security and critical features such as waiting rooms, scheduling and reimbursement. Nautilus says it is best to deploy a system that meets the site's clinical and compliance needs from the start during this crisis.
Telemedicine is the ability of a clinician to interact, diagnose and advise patients remotely over an audio and video feed. It can be a vital tool in the management of pandemic conditions as it reduces the exposure of at-risk clinical staff to infection and, in the unfortunate event they need to self-quarantine, allows clinicians to continue to practice from confinement.
Further, the use of telemedicine eliminates patient exposure to cross-infection when visiting a healthcare facility.
Nautilus thus believes it has an obligation to make its product freely available for at least 60 days to help remediate this crisis. Nautilus will provide free technical support for implementation and reimbursement advice.
TeleRay telemedicine is an elastic, HIPAA-compliant platform that allows for immediate implementation and on-boarding of patients. While widely used, telemedicine is still unavailable in many care sites since implementation can be expensive, burdensome and time consuming at a time when it is most needed.
TeleRay interfaces with practices' existing scheduling systems.
Despite current liability waivers, Nautilus is concerned about the widespread use of non-compliant retail phone-based video communication apps that may impact the quality of patient care.
Telehealth coverage included in the Coronavirus Spending Bill allows full reimbursement from Medicare and waives geographical restrictions on telehealth allowing care to be received at patients' homes.
"We recognise this is an incredibly difficult time for everyone,” said Nautilus CEO Tim Kelley. “As a socially conscious business we have a moral obligation to help in any way we can. I hope that practices – particularly in rural in underserved markets – take advantage of TeleRay and our support at no charge for installation or calls to help to keep their staff and patients safe."
Nautilus Medical specialises in the management and distribution of medical images, patient information and telehealth services. It has more than 2000 active locations and 70% of the top 50 US medical centres as customers including Cleveland Clinic, Cedars-Sinai, Harvard, Cornell, Northwestern, UPMC, UPenn, NY Presbyterian, Columbia, Cornell and Shriner's. Nautilus has also been growing overseas and can be found in more than twenty countries.