Several health IT solution providers announced over the weekend that their services will be offered to customers free of charge in the hurricane Irma-affected areas.
Telemedicine companies Teladoc, Doctor On Demand, MDLive and LiveHealth Online all released news alerts that medical care visits for those in need in the affected regions will be available at no cost.
Hurricane Irma weakened to a tropical storm Monday morning as it was moving along Florida's northwest coast, after tearing through the Florida Keys over the weekend and roaring through the Caribbean before that. According to some reports, Irma flooded several northern Florida cities, while ripping roofs off and cutting power to 6.2 million homes or more than 60 percent of the state. The storm is also affecting residents in other states, such as Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina.
Undoubtedly, during significant weather events, patients are often unable to access healthcare due to road closures, flooding, or office closures. Indeed, many healthcare facilities and pharmacies are already unavailable for extended periods. As a result, some health IT companies are doing their best to help.
Last Friday, Teladoc said it would be providing free, 24/7 telehealth visits to those impacted by Hurricane Irma—for both members and non-members alike. Meanwhile, Doctor On Demand announced that it will be extending support to all those affected by Hurricane Irma in Florida; through September 15th, the telehealth company will make its medical services available to anyone in the affected regions at no cost. Meanwhile, LiveHealth Online, a mobile app and website that provides consumers with a way to have live video visits with doctors for non-emergency health conditions, announced that it is making access to live doctor visits and psychology visits available at no charge for the people of Florida affected by the storm. Similarly, MDLive, a virtual medical and behavioral healthcare provider, and which is based in Sunrise, Fla., announced last week that it is waiving fees for virtual medical and behavioral health services for those impacted by Hurricane Irma in the state of Florida.
To help address these healthcare delivery challenges, another company, DrFirst, a provider of e-prescribing and medication management solutions, is offering its mobile medication platform, iPrescribe, free for all prescribers in the hurricane-affected and evacuation support areas.
What’s more, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel, Florida Hospital, Nemours Children’s Hospital and Orlando Health are offering free telehealth services through Monday for people with minor illnesses and injuries.