The TelePresence system can be expanded by incorporating additional components if necessary. For instance, diagnostic devices and an additional monitor can be connected to measure a patient's heart rate, blood pressure and temperature. The system also supports multiple languages.
Once a full diagnosis has been made, the doctor faxes the prescription directly to the pharmacy, and the medication issued there and then.
Berset said that around 500 patients have used netCare since in launched in April 2012. The majority of patients have been between the ages of 25 and 45, although there is a wide spread, and the split between women and men has been fairly even.
"The pharmacies have to learn how to sell the new service, they have to adapt," said Berset. "Some are early adapters, so they do this quite well already, but still need to learn what the offering is about and understand that they now offer now a doctor within their pharmacy."
Helsana is currently the only health insurer taking part in the pilot, but Waltert said that other insurers are keen to get on board, because it is a very cost-effective for their customers to get an initial assessment, instead of having to go into a doctors.
"This gives an indication of how collaboration technology can help solve real challenges out there," concluded Waltert. "In this case it's a healthcare challenge on a government scale, but the same thing can be applied within corporations."
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