Google announces Helpouts: the Hangout that’s so good you’ll pay for it
This service marries the video chat features of Hangouts with the payment processing of Google Wallet, the identity management of Google+, and a slew of other Google service features. The end result is a gorgeous Frankenstein monster that lets you find expert help instantly via video.
Google + Helpouts is its own separate division within Google, but it uses all existing Google technologies. And actually the service is free unless you charge for it. Google's take is 20%. The helpouts are scheduled or on demand.
Many providers have been asking if Google + hangouts are HIPAA compliant. Up until now the answer has been 'no'. Now for a charge it can be. Further details are forthcoming from Google.
The challenges for telemedicine have been several. 1. Cost. 2. Non-reimbursement due to insurance limitations 3. Lack of an easily accessible platform.
Previous offerings have included expensive contracting with a telehealth provider.
Providers and patients are now aware of new resources to provide an additional component to home health and alternative to time consuming office visits.
Google also announced an API for Google Helpouts. For more information, Google hosts a 'help' tutorial.
Several medical offices and clinics may be available in your area. Note that this service is so new that you should verify their participation. It is not necessary to have a visit initially, however in many states, for you to receive treatment advice law prohibits telemedicine treatment other than in an advisory capacity.
One Medical Group (Beverly Hills)
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There are other participating One Medical Groups in San Francisco, New York, Boston and Washington, D.C.