CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Novant Health is expanding access to healthcare using a device called TytoHome.
TytoHome is a device that patients can use to communicate with physicians via video chat. Unlike other video visits with a doctor, TytoHome gives doctor’s the ability to examine the patient too.
“It allows us to do more than just look at a patient, it allows us to examine a patient. For example, look in the ear, throat, listen to the heart, a heart rate, it gives a temperature,” Family Physician Dr. Aram Alexanian said.
The TytoHome device comes with attachments that a patient can use on themselves. The images captured are viewed in real time by a physician during the video chat. TytoHome comes with a thermometer attachment, stethoscope adaptor, tongue depressor, and otoscope adaptor.
The attachments give doctors the ability to view a patient’s temperature, heart rate, ears, throat, and listen to a patient’s lung and abdominal sounds through video chat.
“I think having a device like this is probably going to expand my practice. Easier to keep up with patients when they’re off to college, for example, if it’s a mom and she is unable to get off work for whatever reason it may provide an opportunity to seek care in patients who may not otherwise seek care.”
Michelle Drohan is a Novant Health employee who is going through the trial phase of TytoCare.
“I work from home most of the time so the convenience of it is amazing, I can do it from the comfort of my own home. I can do it from my desk at home, my kitchen, or my couch,” Drohan said.
TytoCare is best used for basic ailments like an ear infection, but Dr. Alexanian says the possibilities of its use could be endless. For example, he says post-operative visits could be done over video chat because that typically involves a doctor looking at a patient’s wound which could be done over video.
“You’re no longer bound by your own geographic footprint,” Senior Director of Digital Health and Engagement for Novant Health Stephanie Landry said. “So it really allows us to push the limits on where we’re able to meet patients where they are.
The TytoHome costs $299. Novant Health says patients can use FSA and HSA funds to purchase it. One device can be used for several people, so one TytoHome per family is acceptable. Landry says most visits via TytoHome will cost $50 and are covered by most insurance carriers.
Novant Health officials say TytoCare will be available to the public later this year.
For more information or to sign up to purchase a TytoHome click here.