Walmart's retail medical clinics to add telemedicine services

Videoconferencing solution provided by BSC Global

LONDON — A worldwide provider of managed videoconferencing, telepresence and visual collaboration services has partnered with Telemed Ventures to deliver a managed visual collaboration solution to Walmart's retail medical clinics.

BSC Global said it is bringing its service — which enables remote video consultations between a patient and doctor through a life-like, virtual face-to-face video interface over a secure video network — to Walmart's retail medical clinics, which are operated by Telemed Ventures' Smart Care Doc brand. Users of the service have the ability to conduct telepresence-quality face-to-face interactions over the Internet using existing laptops, smartphones or tablets — making it a very affordable solution for patients, doctors and healthcare providers, the companies said.

"We are very excited to partner with Telemed to deliver our managed, cloud-based, visual collaboration solution to Walmart's retail medical clinics," BCS Global CEO Clive Sawkins said. "Video technology continues to evolve exponentially; technology that came to market 12 to 18 months ago is now primetime. Surpassing the underlying technology that powered the legacy video systems of yesterday, is a newer, more intelligent technology that enables us to bring to Walmart's retail medical clinics, a cost-effective solution, and an improved user experience."

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- 7:46 AM
rhammerle says

A logical and powerful addition that will continue to transform retail-point-of entry clinics and further extend Walmart's presence and influence in the healthcare industry. Despite relying upon local hospital operators for its early in-store medical clinics, expect the company to follow the same path it has with its optical ("vision") centers. But the transformative potential lies in the company's partnership with Humana--the only U.S. health insurer with historic experience owning and operating outpatient and inpatient medical services. Ron Hammerle, Chairman Health Resources, Ltd. Tampa, Florida

- 10:25 PM
rhammerle says

Realizing telemedicine's potential-- and Walmart's prior success-- in dramatically driving down costs while simultaneously increasing access and quality may prove as challenging to Walmart and BSC Global as it did in Walmart's previous efforts to get disparate hospital operators to use a common EMR and sublimate their local brand to the Walmart clinic brand. Having an external technology operator from outside the U.S. may help Walmart in reaching and serving its global markets, but BSC's success in serving global retail, manufacturing, banking, financial services and legal customers is a lot easier than working with thousands of local U.S. healthcare providers. [Aside from the Veterans Administration Health System, the U.S. has no national providers of medical care. Walmart's past public announcements about talking with "400 hospitals" anxious to open clinics should provide a lesson.] Further, many successful telecom, device, software and hardware companies have been unknowingly tripped up by FDA, FCC, HIPAA, CMS, Stark laws and myriad state licensing regulations. Picking the right test markets and operators will be critical to determining success--- and both company's ability to replicate it domestically and internationally. Game on. Ron Hammerle, Chairman and CEO Health Resources, Ltd. Tampa, Florida

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