This post originally appeared on the Louisiana Technology Park blo
Relief Telemed, an on-demand telemedicine platform that connects patients to health care providers remotely to save consumers time and money, took the $1,000 top prize at PitchBR‘s second competition of 2018.
The Baton Rouge-based startup allows patients to see nurse practitioners for consultations 24 hours a day via a mobile application. The nurse practitioners can write prescriptions or order lab work. Telemedicine is permitted in most states, including Louisiana, where Relief Telemed is concentrating its efforts.
“We replicate what you do at the doctor’s office, we just do it virtually,” says co-founder and CEO Vishal Vasanji.
Visanji says more than 75 percent of visits at urgent care clinics or doctor’s offices can be treated via telemedicine. These include common ailments such as cold and flu, rashes, respiratory infections, sore throats and allergies. Relief Telemed would not handle more serious cases like chest pains or broken bones.
Visanji says virtual consultations are cheaper than most in-person visits — at or below the cost of a typical insurance co-pay for an office visit — and allow patients to save time and avoid waiting rooms with other ill patients. He says the virtual technology can help alleviate a provider shortage that covers much of Louisiana and makes it difficult for some patients to see a provider quickly. “There is room for breaking down the barriers of getting access to care,” he says.
The company, which is conducting closed beta testing, has eight providers approved by state regulators, with another 64 in the pipeline and awaiting authorization. It intends to offer plans for individual consumers and for businesses that may want to provide low-cost virtual consultations as a health benefit and cost-reduction tool.