Solv, the San Francisco-based maker of an urgent care appointment booking app, has unveiled a video call functionality that will allow providers to offer patients the option of a telemedicine visit.
Video calls made through the Solv Video Telemed system are encrypted and entirely conducted within a mobile phone’s web browser, requiring no additional downloads for the patient. Integrating the video call system within the scheduling platform allows providers to quickly transfer patients from the video to in-person queues or vice versa, according to the company. Additionally, clinics with overwhelmed waiting rooms can use the system to offer patients the option of a video call with another less burdened location.
Specifically built for urgent care providers, Solv’s app asks users for their symptoms and preferred appointment time, and then connects them to local providers able to meet their needs. Patients can also view their insurance information and deductibles, and make their payments directly through their smartphone at the end of a visit. For providers, the service offers automated patient communications via text, appointment scheduling with wait time estimates for busy patients, mobile dashboards with operational data, and patient referrals directly through the service.
What’s the impact
Lauren DeVos, product lead on Solv Video Telemedicine, told MobiHealthNews that the inclusion of video visit functionality is a boon to the patient and provider alike.
“Over the past few decades, consumers have grown to know and trust urgent care centers for providing high quality, same-day healthcare. More recently, consumers have also begun to recognize telemedicine as another convenient healthcare access point,” she said. “At the same time, the telemedicine reimbursement environment has changed — in many states, urgent care providers can bill at parity for telemedicine visits. Urgent care providers deeply understand the benefits of convenience and on-demand healthcare. We see video telemedicine as a new way for urgent care centers to offer consumers additional convenience and as a way to help create loyalty with their patients.”
While it does appear that more patients are actively seeking out telemedicine-based care for its convenience, DeVos also noted the impact that the entry of a new video-based provider can have on the wider care ecosystem.
“Most importantly, greater access to video telemedicine is beneficial for the healthcare system as a whole. Urgent care centers offering telemedicine create another channel to shift unnecessary visits from high cost settings such as an ER into a lower cost telemed or urgent care setting,” she said.
What’s the trend
Telemedicine adoption has generally been on the rise, both in primary care and specialty areas such as behavioral health. But the telehealth landscape is still in a state of flux as the major telemedicine providers consolidate and delivery becomes less reliant on payers.
As for Solv, this isn’t the only feature the booking app added to its platform this year — back in May the company rolled out an in-app payment feature. That functionality was announced as the app maker closed a $16.8 million Series B funding round, which brought its total announced funding to just over $23 million.