Red Cross taps Teladoc for disaster event remote medical care

The American Red Cross is launching a remote medical care service via a partnership with Teladoc to provide U.S. residents free physician access following a disaster event.

The pilot collaboration will enable individuals to access Teladoc’s virtual physician visit services via the web, a mobile app and phone.

“The remote physician consultations that are provided in Red Cross shelters are provided by Teladoc at no charge to the Red Cross or the patients,” Stephany Verstraete, chief marketing officer of Teladoc, told FierceMobileHealthcare via email. "In addition, the Teladoc teams will be working with the Red Cross staff to ensure they are aware of the service and facilitating use as needed."

Red Cross views the collaborative service effort as a way to reduce risk following a disaster event.

“Telehealth is on track to play a major role in the future of disaster risk reduction,” said Mary Casey-Lockyer, American Red Cross senior associate for disaster health services, in an announcement. “It is our hope that this collaboration will serve as a conduit toward closing a gap in services during events, as well as in the days, weeks and months afterward.”

Teladoc previously has donated medical care following disasters, including Hurricane Matthew, and serves 6,000 clients and more than 15 million members. The new service, Verstraete said, was a natural extension of the ongoing partnership.

“As we were working closely with the Red Cross on volunteer efforts, it became obvious that we could extend our relationship and provide care to those who are in Red Cross shelters,” she said.