Medicine gone mobile: New service brings medical care to your home

Published: Mar. 22, 2016 at 8:30 AM CDT
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Connecting with a doctor via phone or video call is becoming increasingly popular across the country. A new service in Marathon County will be able to bring a doctor to your home using video chat along with an in-person medical expert.

The popularity of telemedicine

According to the American Telemedicine Association, it was estimated that there would be 800,000 online patient consultations in 2015 and that could double this year. Across the country, there's different applications that will allow you to connect with a doctor via video or phone calls. Now, in Marathon County, a new mobile telemedicine service could help you. Telemedicine is the use of a variety of applications and services using two-way video, such as email, smart phones, or tablets. While state laws vary, in Wisconsin, telemedicine must utilize video.

New mobile telemedicine service in Marathon County

Dr. Alexander Sommers, created Astia Health, the telemedicine service, and he believes this type of care is the future of the medical field. Astia is able to come to any home or business in Marathon County in their Mobile Medical Unit vehicle, MMU, that is equipped to handle many different urgent care services and connect you with a doctor via video chat. They're primarily used for urgent care, but you can make doctor's appointments too. This service does not replace emergency care, if you need immediate assistance, please call 911.

How it works

First you'll go to the Astia Health application, or their web browser version

You'll get in contact with a triage nurse who will then connect you with a doctor, if needed. After speaking with the patient via video chat, or phone, a medical expert will arrive at your home or business in the MMU vehicle. If you need technology help, they'll be able to walk you through getting set up.

When the Astia medical team arrives at your location, a medical expert such as a Registered Nurse or Critical Care Paramedic will be there to assist you along with the physician on video chat. The MMU vehicle has state of the art equipment that allows them to help you with non-emergency illnesses, ultrasounds, x-rays and casting, physical exams, immunizations, lab tests, and other medical needs. If needed, medical experts can give you antibiotics, allowing you to skip the pharmacy trip.

Prices vary

The cost varies depending on the medical care you receive. Astia Health contracts with multiple health insurance providers. Services could be $50 for less complex care, and averages, about $200. Some of their services are less than the E.R., or Urgent Care, and some services are a bit more, however, these comparisons include the one-on-one, in home, medical care. Astia Health is willing to price match with some medical services.

Hours of service

Astia's medical team is available 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM Monday through Saturday and Sunday 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM CST. They hope to increase their hours of availability in the future, too. you can call them with any questions, or help at 888-885-4434.