Banner Health's iCare uses tablets to communicate with patients - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Banner Health's iCare uses tablets to communicate with patients

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SUN CITY, Ariz. -

When you're feeling under the weather, how nice would it be to stay home, but still visit the doctor wirelessly -- via video?

Banner Health has started a program that does just that -- allowing some patients the ability to communicate with doctors, as well as allow them to monitor their vitals from home.

Currently, there are 120 patients that are using this new technology.  It's mainly for patients who go to a hospital often or have underlying medical conditions like diabetes or heart disease.

Doctors can keep an eye on them without the patients ever having to step foot in a doctor's office.

Everyday, Janice and Raymond White of Sun City walk to their kitchen, log on to a tablet and take all their vitals.

All of their medical information, including blood pressure, weight, blood sugar, heart rate and other data, is electronically sent to Banner Health professionals.  All the data is collected and monitored by their doctors miles away.

"We do feel this is the healthcare delivery of the future," said Dr. Hargobind S. Khurana, the medical director of iCare.  "Before they even complain, we are able to identify a problem that's probably trending to a bad outcome so that changes how that disease management happens."

"They're very responsive.. and that's what we like about the program," said Raymond.

At the touch of a button, the Whites are also able to wireless video conference face-to-face with medical professionals.

"When I fell, I didn't go into the doctor, they just looked at me and said no, I was going to be black and blue, but other than that, I was going to be fine," said Janice.

The Whites say this new program has cut back on having to drive to routine doctor appointments and they're able to do most everything, including filling prescriptions right from their house.  The tablets can even remind you when to take those medications.

"Hospital is not a place you want to be if you have a choice, especially at the time of the holidays and this program is a reflection of what Banner Health wants to do.. help the best care at the best time at the right place," said Khurana.

Hoping to expand to 500 patients in the next year, this program comes at no cost to those patients.

Banner Health's Banner iCare™ Intensive Care program - Click here for details

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