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Telemedicine Kiosks Opening at Retail Pharmacies

Wall Street sign

(A. Kotok)

11 December 2017. Private kiosks providing individuals live video sessions with doctors to diagnose non-emergency medical issues are underway in New York. The service opened its first location at a Duane Reade retail pharmacy in Manhattan, connecting patients to the NewYork-Presbyterian health care network.

The kiosks are a result of a partnership between the retail drug chain Walgreens operating the Duane Reade stores, and NewYork-Presbyterian that plans to expand to more New York City locations in 2018. The service, called NYP OnDemand, is now available in one Duane Reade location, at 40 Wall Street, which charges $99.00 per visit.

The kiosks are located in a private room, with a video camera and monitor connecting to an emergency medicine physician for a private consultation. The physicians are board-certified and provided by Weill Cornell Medicine, a medical school and research center affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian. Visit times are expected to take from 10 to 20 minutes, but can vary depending on the needs of the patient.

The one current NYP OnDemand kiosk is open from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm on weekdays and 9:00 am to 6:00 pm on weekends, with hours for children set for 6:00 to 9:00 pm on weekdays. Only walk-ins are accepted; no appointments are needed.

The service is designed for diagnosing non-emergency conditions, such as colds and flu, skin conditions, urinary tract infection, dizziness, fever, headache, and back pain, but also insomnia and mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety. The kiosk also has a forehead thermometer, blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter to measure oxygen levels in the blood, and a dermascope to provide high-resolution images of skin conditions.

Walgreens customers in New York will also be able to access NYP urgent care services for online video consultations through the Walgreens web site. Beginning in 2018, the kiosk service is expected to add consulting physicians from ColumbiaDoctors, part of Columbia University’s medical center, also affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian.

“Patients can expect to receive focused, one-on-one care from leading physicians, where and when they need it,” says NewYork-Presbyterian CEO Steven Corwin in a company statement. “We believe telemedicine has a critical role to play in expanding access to high-quality care, and we are proud to be at the forefront of digital health care delivery.”

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