How Telescope Health Streamlines Virtual Care in the Cloud
Virtual care is here to stay. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 37 percent of US adults used telemedicine to receive clinical healthcare in 2021 and patients continue to expect convenient, streamlined, and personalized services.
Telemedicine presents considerable opportunities for both patients and healthcare companies. Virtual care increases access for patients with limited mobility, demonstrably lessens the spread of infection, and decreases the costs associated with in-person visits.
However, healthcare organizations that consider themselves to be small or medium businesses (SMB) must ensure that the online features customers want—like chatbots and multi-channel communications—are safe from costly cyber events and can meet government and industry regulations. They also need secure, fast access to patient data, which often comes from multiple sources and is frequently difficult to parse.
That’s where the cloud comes in. Amazon Web Services provides healthcare SMBs with scalable, secure, and efficient solutions that also meet patient demand for convenience and ease of use.
Our customer, Telescope Health, is an SMB using AWS to make telemedicine simpler, more integrative, and more focused on their clients’ long-term health. I recently spoke with their COO and co-founder, Dr. Matthew Thompson as well as Vaidant Singh, CMO of SourceFuse, which is part of the AWS Partner Network.
Centering patient outcomes
Telescope Health is a telemedicine company that provides virtual care to patients in the US—specifically Florida and Georgia. One of its primary goals is “outcome-based” care: working to ensure each visit has a real impact on the patient’s overall well-being.
“You can get a prescription very easily on typical virtual-care platforms,” says Thompson. “You can see a physician very easily. However, that doctor isn’t usually connected to your overall care. How is that improving your health and keeping you out of the hospital? How is that doctor communicating with the other providers that you should be seeing?”
Telescope Health aims to reduce those barriers. Through its partnership with SourceFuse, the company has been able to focus not only on superior patient experience, but also on after-appointment coordination and the safe transmission of patient data in the cloud.
“We’re an advanced consulting partner,” says Singh. “The way we approach every engagement we get into is with our consulting hats on. So, when Telescope Health and SourceFuse started to collaborate, it was a journey to understand their vision.”
Using SourceFuse’s arsenal of HIPAA-compliant (Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) features, which include AI-powered telemedicine, data anonymization, secure video consultations, and more, Telescope Health has worked toward its outcome-based goals. They are achieving this all while minimizing costs and maximizing team efficiency.
“So first we identified, OK, if you’re a user, how do you create a profile and log in? How do you have a video encounter with a provider?” Thompson says. “All that was really easy, thanks to our partner.”
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Connecting telemedicine and in-home care in the cloud
Another realm Telescope Health is exploring: a symbiotic relationship between home care and virtual care. They partnered with a company that specializes in home care, then used the cloud to add medical context to these visits—and initiate further care if needed.
“When [paramedics] go into a home, we can utilize our software to identify all their known medical problems, use the paramedic to initiate or start a chart, and then utilize our software to start a virtual visit with the person,” says Dr. Thompson. This approach is particularly helpful because many of Telescope Health’s users don’t access healthcare frequently—or at least not a primary care provider—and may not have vitals like blood pressure checked often.
Here, AWS is key. “That [approach] required us to have an EMR (electronic medical record) that let our virtual software interact with us as well as our partner who is putting a paramedic in the home,” Dr. Thompson explains. “There were a lot of components that were necessary, and we didn’t have the capability of doing it before [AWS].”
Envisioning the future of virtual medicine in an SMB environment
Overall, Telescope Health used SourceFuse’s expertise to create a platform that makes telemedicine easier to navigate.
“We’re doing things where we’re utilizing a lot of different types of devices, we’re utilizing kiosks, iPads, mobile devices on the road using cellular connection. And we ran into a lot of headaches. And that put a monkey wrench into our logistics and seeing patients,” Dr. Thompson says. “Thankfully, we’ve gone through a lot of those and fixed them, which has been a fun part of the journey.”