2020 was a year of unprecedented changes that saw conventional face-to-face events such as concerts, office work, public education and even Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners transition to remote and virtual platforms.
In a time when reduced person-to-person contact is thought necessary to contain a public health crisis, medical professionals everywhere have come up with innovative ways to ensure that people have access to medical care without increasing their risk of exposure to ill patients requiring in-person treatment.
In comes telehealth.
Over the past couple of decades, refinement of the internet and information technology systems has played a key role in the redesign of America’s health care system, providing more access to medical providers and their expertise.
Following a recent $60 million investment from JMI Equity, the Telehealth platform, Timely MD, has announced a new initiative called “Campus Health.” The proposal is specific to college students and allows for access to health services at any place and time they need it. The goal of TimelyMD is to provide increased availability of health care for busy college students on campuses across the country.
Albion College, generally progressive in measures to advance optimal student services, was quick to partner with Timely MD in the campus health initiative. Albion Care is the new campus program that will provide immediate and remote mental health and medical care access 24 hours a day at no additional cost to students.
According to the Albion Care website, free visits are available to all enrolled students at Albion College. For scheduled counseling, students will receive up to 12 free visits per year and have the option to schedule additional visits at their own expense of $79. Although the virtual visits are free, students are responsible for the cost of any clinically appropriate prescriptions, over-the-counter treatment or follow-up visits related to prescriptions.
Cheyenne McLain, a senior from Hillsdale, said that she knew about the program and thinks that it is a great idea.
“It’s beneficial when in quarantine and you can’t seek normal medical care. Everybody deserves to get help and see what’s going on,” said McLain.
Although McLain is a commuter student, she hopes that the telehealth initiative will be utilized to its fullest at Albion College by allowing access to off campus students.
Ezra Moore, a first-year from Clarkston, said that while he didn’t know about the program prior to the interview, he thinks that the service will help many people on campus and will be significantly more efficient than regular medical care.
“It seems very good that people could get medical attention without meeting,” said Moore. It would be much easier than having to drive to the doctor’s office while you’re already not feeling good.”