A New Milestone for Healthcare On-Line


How many times have you wanted advice from a doctor, but didn’t have time to drive somewhere to see one? How often has a medical question gone unanswered because finding a doctor to ask was just too much of a hassle? How frequently have you delayed medical treatment because you couldn’t reach your own doctor and didn’t know who else to see? What if there was a more convenient way to receive care for a minor illness or injury? Well, for citizens of the state of Hawaii, there definitely is another way!

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In January, one of the largest health plans in the state of Hawaii, HMSA, launched a new initiative that provides on-line care to every citizen. Residents can get answers to medical questions or treatment advice for a minor illness or injury from a participating doctor using on-line web messaging, video visits, or the telephone. The sponsoring health plan even discounts fees associated with using the on-line service. Partners in this exciting new initiative include American Well Systems in Boston and Microsoft HealthVault.

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This week, we have released a new audiocast for my House Calls for Healthcare Professionals series. It explores the new on-line service from HMSA and what motivated the company to offer it.  Participants in the discussion include:

Dr. Roy Schoenberg, co-founder and chief executive of American Well Systems in Boston.

Dr. Patricia Avila, Medical Director for on-line services at the Hawaii Medical Services Association HMSA, an independent licensee of Blue Cross-Blue Shield and one of the largest health insurers in the state of Hawaii. Dr. Avila is also a primary care and preventive medicine physician practicing in Hawaii.

Dr. James Mault, a Director for Microsoft’s Health Solutions Group representing Microsoft HealthVault.

To listen to the audio-cast, click HERE.  You can also download the program here.

Bill Crounse, MD  Senior Director, Worldwide Health  Microsoft


Comments (2)

  1. Healthcare online sounds like a great idea for minor illness, as they are doing in Hawaii. I think using this approach when feasible is even becoming a necessity, given the need to reduce health care costs, and the shortage of primary care physicians in many parts of the country.