American Well launches tablet to help doctors connect with specialists

By Aditi Pai

AmWell Telemed TabletBoston-based video visits company American Well has announced that it is rolling out a tablet, called Telemed Tablet, to help providers expand their network and connect with specialists faster.

The current tablet being rolled out is a modified Microsoft Surface Pro, which American Well has stripped of extra features so that it can be HIPAA compliant. But according to an American Well spokesperson, the company can load its care coordination app onto other tablets as well.

American Well has disclosed one new client for its tablet offering -- Cleveland Clinic.

"So the Telemed Tablet actually came to be because we were growing and working with a lot of the delivery systems who are clients," American Well CEO Roy Schoenberg explained in a video about the Telemed Tablet. "They've seen our kiosks for patients, for consumers, and one of the preeminent feature of the kiosk is that you walk in, you click the type of provider you want to see, and they miraculously show up in front of you."

He explained that the technology behind the kiosks is a network of providers that American Well can ping when a patient needs a specific kind of physician. And this technology could be applied to a network that helps physicians reach out to specialists.

"The people we work with said 'Hey, listen, we could use this within our hospital systems because every now and then we need a neurologist consult and there's no neurologist right there. If we could just walk with a tablet and say 'Hey we need a neurologist' and they will materialize right in front of us, that will be a game changer,'" Schoenberg said.

American Well said the Telemed Tablet, which can be hoisted onto a stand that keeps it at eye-level, is designed to bring specialists to a patient's bedside, the nurses' station, or to the operating room.

Cleveland Clinic will begin running pilots with the tablet to test how it works in different specialty departments, according to Peter Rasmussen, director of Cerebrovascular Center and medical director of Distance Health at Cleveland Clinic.

American Well's other offerings include several apps: LiveHealth (which they created with WellPoint’s HMC), NowClinic (created in partnership with Optum), and Online Care Anywhere (created for BCBSMN).

Last year, American Well launched a rebranded version of their direct-to-consumer app, now called Amwell, which also pulls data from Apple’s HealthKit platform. If users have both Apple’s Health app, and Amwell, they can integrate different health-related data points into the video visits app including heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, blood glucose levels, weight, nutritional information, and respiratory rate.

Since 2010, the company has raised $81 million. Strategic investors include Anthem and Jefferson Health System.