THE VILLAGES, Fla. and BOSTON, June 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- American Well™ today announced a partnership with USF Health at the University of South Florida to increase access to quality primary and specialty care to the residents of The Villages, the country's largest Over-55 residential community in the United States. This marks the first time American Well's industry-leading Online Care telehealth platform will be specifically targeted toward a senior population.
Online Care is a web-based software platform that allows consumers and healthcare providers to have immediate, live and clinically meaningful online visits through video, secure text chat and/or phone.
USF Health will deploy Online Care in support of its patient-centered healthcare system, developed in partnership with The Villages, which provides easy access to quality healthcare to residents. The goal is to utilize Online Care to reduce hospital admissions, readmission rates and pharmacy costs, while maintaining Medicare beneficiaries in their homes rather than long-term care settings.
Through Online Care, retirees will have immediate access to primary care from the comfort of their homes. In addition, USF Health physicians will use Online Care to consult with outside specialists to deliver comprehensive care, including post-operative care, diabetes care, cardiovascular health, dermatology, mental health and urology.
"The residents of The Villages are highly active and independent. On a daily basis, they dispel the myth that seniors do not embrace technology," said Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA, dean of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and CEO, USF Health. "In fact, when designing The Villages' Health System, the patients asked for a healthcare solution that utilizes the same technologies they use to buy stocks, books and travel. For these reasons, Online Care is an ideal technology solution for us."
According to a recent study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, more than half of adults age 65 and older are online, compared to just 15 percent in April 2000. Among Internet users ages 65 and older, 70 percent use the Internet on a typical day.
"With our partnership with The Villages, we are striving to create the healthiest hometown in America," said Dr. Elliot Sussman, partner in health at The Villages, and professor of medicine at USF's Morsani College of Medicine. "We are going to use all the tools at our disposal to engage with these patients so that they can lead healthier, happier and longer lives. Online Care will be a big part of our program."
USF Health will be the first customer to launch American Well's telehealth platform through Online Care Practice, a new streamlined deployment option that allows for accelerated, affordable implementation. Online Care Practice is a securely-partitioned instance of the Online Care platform that allows customers to set up branded online practice storefronts to serve targeted populations. As a cloud-based service, Online Care Practice does not require additional hardware or IT integration and can be launched in just a few weeks.
"USF Health and The Villages are recognized nationally for their passion, and commitment to quality and disruptive innovation. We could not be more proud to launch our ground breaking Practice product together," said Ido Schoenberg, MD, chairman and CEO, American Well Corporation. "With its dramatically simple, easy and affordable deployment, we are now able to remove the last remaining barriers for providers, employers and payers that are eager to jump in and benefit from the power and value of telehealth. We believe this product is a game changer in making Online Care accessible to anyone, everywhere."
About USF Health
USF Health's mission is to envision and implement the future of health. It is the partnership of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the College of Pharmacy, the School of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences; and the USF Physician's Group. The University of South Florida is a global research university ranked 50th in the nation by the National Science Foundation for both federal and total research expenditures among all U.S. universities.
About American Well
American Well™ brings healthcare into the homes and workplaces of patients. Its Online Care Suite is the industry's leading telehealth solution, connecting providers and patients for live, immediate, and clinically meaningful encounters using the Web or phone. With its patented technology, the Online Care Suite removes traditional barriers to healthcare access – such as geography, mobility, and time constraints – while enabling providers to deliver quality care in a flexible, convenient manner, generating revenue along the way.
USF Health Communications
Julie Sculley or Dave McKee
SOURCE American Well