Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Tampa General Hospital opens telemedicine station

Steve Rogerson
October 29, 2019



Tampa General Hospital has become the first to open a telemedicine station from Florida-based OnMed. The station is being deployed inside the hospital so staff members will have access to virtual life-sized consultations with physicians and automated pharmaceutical services.
 
The station allows users to have real-time consultations with a doctor or practice provider via high definition video and audio. It even lets doctors prescribe and dispense hundreds of common medications through a secure, automated vault, saving users a trip to the pharmacy. For example, those who may be experiencing common ailments such as strep throat or sinus infections can walk away with a diagnosis and antibiotic medication within minutes, not hours.
 
"At Tampa General Hospital, we are on a journey to becoming the safest and most innovative academic health system in America," said John Couris, CEO of Tampa General Hospital. "The health and wellness of our team members are just as important to us as the patients we care for everyday at our hospital. By utilising the OnMed Station within our employee base, we can ensure that our staff is prioritising their wellness with access to instant care, if needed."
 
The station design is patented domestically and internationally and can be used in hospitals, colleges, airports, hotels, large private employers and other locations.
 
"We believe telehealth is the future, but in order to see long-term success, it has to go beyond a phone call with a doctor," said Austin White, CEO of OnMed. "This is why we created OnMed, to combine the clinical expertise and diagnostic capabilities of an in-person visit with the convenience and efficiency of a remote visit. Tampa General Hospital has always been a champion for innovation in health care, and we see this as the next step in a combined effort to expand the reach of care."
 
Thermal imaging in the station can read body temperature and diagnose infection. It lets users take readings of blood pressure, respiration and blood oxygen saturation. It also allows audio and visual inspection of vitals in HD video and audio.
 
A high-output ultraviolet surface and air sanitisation eliminate pathogens after every patient visit. The exam room is protected by privacy glass. There is the option to securely transmit results to primary care physicians and the ability to provide paper prescriptions, e-prescriptions to preferred pharmacies, referrals and self-service lab kits for diagnostic testing.
 
"Following the initial placement, Tampa General Hospital is developing a strategy to deploy multiple stations throughout the community," said Adam Smith, senior vice president of ambulatory services for Tampa General Hospital. “For example, we are looking to partner with OnMed to place this innovative health technology station in various public consumer facing areas, such as local schools and airports. Right now, we are committed to prioritising the wellness of our own team members by providing them access to instant care, when they need it. We believe the OnMed station will prove valuable for our teams.”
 
Tampa General Hospital, a 1007-bed non-profit academic medical centre, is the region's only centre for level-one trauma and comprehensive burn care. It is one of the USA's busiest adult solid organ transplant centres and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.
 
With five medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports critically injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding counties to receive the care they need. Tampa General houses a nationally accredited stroke centre and its 32-bed neuroscience intensive care unit is the largest on the west coast of Florida. It also is home to an 82-bed level-four neonatal intensive care unit, and a state-certified spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation centre.
 
OnMed is a health technology company based in Clearwater, Florida, with more than a decade of experience delivering health care services in all 50 states as well as Puerto Rico.