Verizon shutters Virtual Visits and its FDA-cleared telehealth hub app

By Brian Dolan
06:07 am
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Verizon Wireless Virtual VisitsLast year Verizon stopped offering both its patient-to-provider Virtual Visits product and its FDA-cleared telehealth hub software. This moves Verizon away from end-to-end telehealth products and re-focuses it on providing its healthcare customers HIPAA-ready cloud services, advanced security services, and various mobility solutions.

MedCity News first reported on one of the telehealth product pullbacks -- the virtual visits offering -- after MDLive CEO Randy Parker told the publication his company had hired away two Verizon employees who were working on the product.

Virtual Visits was a mobile-centric video visits product that physician groups and others could use to provide real-time, remote care to patients. Verizon launched it in June 2014 with an eye on hospitals and physician groups as likely customers.

MobiHealthNews has learned that Verizon has also shuttered its FDA-cleared mobile app, "The Verizon Wireless Converged Health Management (CHM) Device", which was a telehealth platform offering that received health data from various home health devices, including those from Ideal Life, Telcare, and Genesis Health Technologies. The offering has secured two FDA clearances over the years -- the only two clearances Verizon has ever sought. 

Verizon’s CHM device was a remote monitoring platform that collected and stored biometric data from personal health devices patients use while at home — not in clinical settings. It didn't claim to be real-time or for emergency monitoring and it wasn't interpretive. Patients used a mobile app (one iOS app had already been developed) and an online portal to review the data from the platform, while clinicians could use an online portal. Notably, Verizon’s platform didn't only transmit the data, it also offered educational and motivational functions.

Verizon spent years developing the product -- it first submitted the software platform to the FDA for clearance in August 2012.

MobiHealthNews has also learned that Verizon’s Director of Product Management for Mobile Health Julie Kling left the company in November to join health insurance company Anthem as its director of mobile marketing. Prior to her time at Verizon, Kling headed up mobile initiatives at Humana.

Nancy Green, managing principal, Verizon Enterprise Solutions explained that while Verizon is no longer offering these two end-to-end products, the company is still offering other telehealth services and related products to its customers.

"Verizon stopped offering Virtual Visits in late October," Green told MobiHealthNews in an email. "We are refocusing the delivery method of providing telehealth services based on input from our customers. Our customer’s needs changed and we re-aligned our strategy to meet their needs. Clients are much more interested in select or multiple parts and not necessarily an end-to-end solution. For example, our clients want just cloud from us, or just video so it could integrate into their existing systems. Verizon no longer offers its Converged Health Management product. We are more focused on enabling our clients through our industry-leading network services, HIPAA-ready cloud platform, advanced security services and expertise in mobility solutions."

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