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Austin kiosk is the newest telemedicine experiment

Thinkstock | Manuela Weschke

Thinkstock | Manuela Weschke

Is a kiosk the future of healthcare?

Mayo Connected Care is a new experiment from the Mayo Clinic Health System to use a kiosk fitted with a high-definition video link and basic medical instruments as part of a new telemedicine project.

One kiosk was recently installed in the Austin campus of the Mayo Clinic, and is being used by healthcare workers at the location as part of a test run that likely will last at least a year, according to StarTribune.com. The machine can take blood pressure and measure height and weight. It also has a stethoscope as well as a device to look at the ears, nose and throat.

Though patients are completely enclosed in the kiosk for privacy, a healthcare worker is stationed nearby for help and to sterilize the equipment.

“We want to learn as much as we can about delivering care in this way,” said Mark Ciota, CEO of the Mayo Health System site in Austin. “Our idea would be to put one of these in an employer setting, like a plant or large office area, so employees wouldn’t have to leave work to get health care.”

The experiment is one of many types of telemedicine aimed to work with patients with minor ailments and is meant to identify those who may have more serious issues.

Have you had any experience using similar devices? Do you see them as a positive addition to current healthcare treatments? Let us know in the comments below!

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