The American Academy of Family Physicians and virtual care technology vendor Zipnosis are embarking on a partnership that will offer a virtual healthcare platform to AAFP's 129,000 members.
The telemedicine tech provides an online diagnosis and treatment system that would enable AAFP members to offer their patients easy access to care by connecting them virtually with their family physician.
AAFP will offer the telehealth platform to a select group of physicians as part of a pilot designed to help further tailor it to the specific needs of family physicians. The service then will be available to all AAFP members later in 2018.
The partnership stems from the results of a 2017 AAFP member survey designed to identify new programs and services. One of the clear themes that surfaced was the demand for a telehealth service that addresses the unique needs of family physicians.
"Patients today want quick and easy access to healthcare, but that convenience shouldn't come at the cost of the relationship they have with their family physician," said Steven Waldren, MD, director of the AAFP's Alliance for eHealth Innovation. "Offering this new telemedicine platform gives our family physician members another tool through which they can care for patients."
The AAFP is offering this telemedicine platform to its members in small to medium-sized practices. Members who launch virtual care through the AAFP and Zipnosis will license the software and pay a monthly per-seat service fee for the physicians and other providers using the platform.
"We believe that ensuring family physicians can offer their patients the convenience and access of a virtual care service is critical to maximizing the value of local, personal care by embracing the benefits of today's connected, digital world," said Rebecca Hafner-Fogarty, MD, senior vice president of policy and strategy at Zipnosis and a member of the AAFP.
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