Catapult Health, a Texas-based provider of preventive care, announced a new program for employers this week that offers home-based checkups via telehealth to employees and family members.
VirtualCheckup, says the vendor, combines telehealth, clinical diagnostics, and COVID-19 and depression screenings “to address the health concerns of today.”
“Preventive care is key, especially as many in our team have recently experienced transitions in their lives, and more people are remote and caring for family members,” said Ryan Murry, senior director of benefits for Essilor of America, which offers the program to employees.
WHY IT MATTERS
With many individuals still reluctant to seek in-person medical care, some companies are ramping up the production of at-home diagnostic tools.
Participants in the VirtualCheckup program will be mailed a home kit that includes a blood pressure monitor, a fingerstick blood-testing device and measuring tape, say representatives. They will then meet via video with a nurse practitioner who reviews and discusses results, enacts screenings for COVID-19 and depression, and develops an individualized action plan.
According to the company, the checkups can take place as a standalone solution, or as a complement to on-site clinics.
Catapult Health says VirtualCheckup is covered by most payers and advertises itself to users as being available at no cost to them.
On the first day VirtualCheckup was available 1,100 people signed up, vendor representatives said.
THE LARGER TREND
At-home diagnostic kits and other remote patient-monitoring tools are taking on a greater role amid the COVID-19 crisis, as patients and providers expand their definitions of what telehealth can encompass.
At the American Telemedicine Association conference this year, ATA president Dr. Joe Kvedar noted such tools as necessary aspects of virtual care in the future.
He also pointed to new advancements in digital biomarkers – such as software that can detect respiratory infections through the sound of a cough – as evidence of ways to think beyond a real-time one-on-one video conference as the sole modality for telehealth.
ON THE RECORD
“Virtual care has greatly expanded in the past six months as we’ve all adjusted to working and connecting remotely,” said David Michel, CEO of Catapult Health, in a statement.
“We are leveraging our telehealth expertise to bring preventive care to people anytime, anywhere – at work, at home, or on vacation – while maintaining the clinical depth of an office-based annual exam,” Michel continued.