CINCINNATI (FOX19) - With Ohio now under a Stay-at-Home order until at least May, doctors are using technology to continue treating patients. One physician says his telemedicine practice is growing rapidly by the day.
“Patients are being told to stay at home, and so we see a lot of physical therapy institutions, chiropractors and even medical offices that cannot bear the load of the virus and what it’s been doing to the economy and their practices," Michael Greiwe, MD, told FOX19 NOW.
“We basically have a link they get sent via text to their phone, and that text link takes them to the app store, and they download an app, and then they just sign in and basically click on ‘video chat,’ and they’re in the meeting with a physician," Greiwe explained.
Since January, Greiwe says OrthoLive has grown by 1,000 percent. He believes it’s because so many healthcare groups across the country are turning to virtual appointments to safely care for patients.
“We used to see somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 to 70 patients, sometimes even 80 patients a day, with myself and my nurse practitioners," Greiwe said. "Now, we are much down from that, but at least 50 to 60 percent of them are virtual visits.”
In Greiwe’s eyes, the video meetings are a game-changer for people who need care but do not have a dire emergency.
He adds the technology is also helping medical employees remain employed during Ohio’s Stay-at-Home order.
“I was able to see a patient about a week ago that had an infection around their shoulder area, and we were able to diagnose that via telemedicine," Greiwe said. "We had them come to the hospital, and we were able to get them taken care of right away. It was a real blessing to be able to do that.”
Healthcare groups across the country are part of the two telemedicine platforms, including OrthoCincy, where Greiwe practices.
Greiwe says patients can securely scan insurance cards and input credit card information through the apps. They are also HIPAA compliant.
Doctors say anyone who is having an emergency should not wait for any kind of virtual appointment and should seek help right away.