Publix spokesman: Telemedicine kiosks in grocery stores ‘a game-changer’

Publix Super Markets and BayCare Health System have combined forces to offer another layer of convenience to healthcare consumers.

At four grocery stores around Tampa Bay, Florida, people can pop into a private room near the pharmacy and chat with a physician or pediatrician via teleconference about simple medical problems such as sore throats, rashes or colds. Following visits which typically last about 10 minutes, physicians can write a prescription or refer patients to a primary care provider or urgent care center in more serious cases.

Patients can pay through their insurance with a copay or pay a flat $45 fee, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Deeming the experimental phase of the collaboration a success, BayCare and Publix plan to open another 22 centers with walk-in care kiosks this year.

"Getting in to see the doctor isn’t easy,” Publix spokesman Brian West told the Tampa Bay Times. “It takes days or weeks to make an appointment sometimes, and then it can take hours of waiting in the office. This is much easier.

“We believe this is a game changer. It will have a major impact on the overall cost of healthcare too."

Read more on the telemedicine service below: