Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Cambridge, Mass., U.S. – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, today announced the launch of Virtual Care Station , a telehealth environment that delivers virtual care services in convenient neighborhood locations such as retail settings, libraries, town halls and universities. The pod-based solution connects provider and insurance networks, allowing health providers and patients to have a local, community-based choice for care. Whether in underserved rural or urban areas, Virtual Care Station helps deliver on the Quadruple Aim by giving patients access to virtual face-to-face care, and is designed to help improve clinical outcomes, lower costs and increase patient and staff satisfaction. Virtual Care Station is based on Philips technology developed for the ATLAS program (Accessing Telehealth through Local Area Stations), which was created to serve the healthcare needs of U.S. veterans.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, trends showed some increased interest in the use of telehealth services by both healthcare providers and patients [2,3,4]. However, recent policy changes during the pandemic have reduced barriers to telehealth access and have promoted the use of telehealth as a way to deliver acute, chronic, primary and specialty care . Although at-home telehealth solutions are a convenient option, many patients do not have access to reliable internet access or the digital devices required for telehealth. Moreover, patients may not have the privacy they need for sensitive clinical conversations at home, making the Virtual Care Station a timely option.
Philips created the Virtual Care Station with insights from patients, physicians and caregivers to offer patients the convenience and care of a traditional face-to-face visit. The telehealth station features a camera, lighting and speakers, all specifically designed to provide the clinician and patient the control to produce a high-quality view of the patient and their specific area of concern. Further, the Virtual Care Station features thoughtful design, including enough room to accommodate the needs of a patient in a wheelchair or with a service dog. Virtual Care Station’s uses can be extended in the future with different capabilities, such as tele-dentistry, and new technologies that further limit touch points such as contactless monitoring. It also offers the potential to supplement visits with remote patient monitoring devices in the home, allowing care teams to track patients’ health between visits.