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Nemours Launches Pediatric Telemedicine App, Site

Dr. Shayan Vyas tries out Nemours CareConnect telemedicine program. (Photo Courtesy Nemours)
Dr. Shayan Vyas tries out Nemours CareConnect telemedicine program. (Photo Courtesy Nemours)

Nemours Children’s Hospital pediatricians are now available for telemedicine visits. The Nemours CareConnect app and website launched today.

Nemours officials said this is the first direct to consumer telemedicince program in the nation for kids. Now, there is a catch: The $49-dollar fee is not covered by insurance.

The service is available anywhere in the state to anyone willing to pay. Doctors can order prescriptions, but can't do lab tests.

Dr. Shayan Vyas said he thinks insurers will eventually come on board.

“The compliance rate for telemedicine is a lot higher than conventional ways of seeing your physician," Vyas said. "The reason is it’s convenient. You no longer have to wait in their waiting room. You can get the care where you need it and how you need it.”

Vyas said that, in the future, surgical patients will be able to have follow-up visits done through a smart phone.

"We’re heavily involved working with Apple and other device companies to do that exact thing, to do measurements and biometrics through the phone,” Vyas said.

This is yet another example of doctors embracing telemedicine, despite the failure of bills expanding the practice in Florida. A telemedicine bill failed during this year’s legislative session.

Nemours says it will be lobbying the Florida Legislature and others to get health insurers to reimburse telemedicine visits. Insurers are fighting that, arguing telemedicine only adds to health costs. And some doctors are against allowing out-of-state doctors see Florida patients.

See below for an extended interview with Vyas:

[audio mp3="http://www.wmfe.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Nemours-Care-Connect-Web-Extra.mp3"][/audio]