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Nemours Launches Peds Telemedicine App, Site

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

Nemours Children’s Hospital pediatricians are now available for telemedicine visits via a news app and website called NemoursCareConnect.

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

The service is available anywhere in the state to anyone willing to pay, officials said. 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.

Abe Aboraya is a reporter for WMFE in Orlando. WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya works for WMFE in Orlando. He started writing for newspapers in high school. After graduating from the University of Central Florida in 2007, he spent a year traveling and working as a freelance reporter for the Seattle Times and the Seattle Weekly, and working for local news websites in the San Francisco Bay area. Most recently Abe worked as a reporter for the Orlando Business Journal. He comes from a family of health care workers.