Publix Grocery Stores to Provide Telemedicine Services

BayCare Health System and Publix Super Markets are pairing up in the fast-changing area of telemedicine. Their product: convenience, as in going to the doctor while you shop for groceries.

What started as an experiment late last year at a handful of Publix stores will be expanding to nearly two dozen more locations in the coming months. At BayCare’s new “Walk-In Care” kiosks near the Publix pharmacy, customers can talk remotely to a physician to address simple medical problems like a sore throat or head cold without the usual logistical complexities.

“Getting in to see the doctor isn’t easy. It takes days or weeks to make an appointment sometimes, and then it can take hours of waiting in the office. This is much easier,” said Publix spokesman Brian West. “We believe this is a game changer. It will have a major impact on the overall cost of health care too.”

Health care providers in recent years have been steadily rolling out new forms of telemedicine, where doctors can treat simple medical issues virtually and help keep patients out of the emergency room or even an urgent care clinic. Millennials are driving the trend, said Glenn Waters, executive vice president and chief operating officer with BayCare.

A recent study by the firm Rock Health found that 42 percent of millennials have used video telemedicine services already, compared to 25 percent of Gen Xers and less than 5 percent of Baby Boomers.”

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