ANN ARBOR — Grab your smartphone, the doctor will see you now.
As the advancements in telemedicine and health apps for mobile devices make receiving health care easier by the day, Los Angeles-based NoviMedicine is getting into the act by building a system for board-certified dermatologists to discuss, evaluate and treat patients’ acne completely online.
Founded by Stanford and Mayo Clinic-trained dermatologist Josh Spanogle and his software developer brother, Seth, NoviMedicine aims to reduce the hassle of acne treatment. There are no three-month wait times for appointments, something that disturbed Josh Spanogle about his field; nor is there even a minute spent in a waiting room.
The service costs $59 and happens in three easy, virtual steps: first, patients answer a 17-question online survey about their acne and general health. Next, they upload three pictures of their acne to a secure Web site. Within 48 hours, patients are notified to log into a secure account to receive a treatment plan, including prescription medications. Each step is hosted on Online Tech’s high availability, HIPAA compliant managed cloud to ensure 100 percent uptime while maintaining patient data security.
“The treatment of acne is a logical starting place for the dermatology-based service because it is fairly easy for dermatologists to diagnose,” Josh Spanogle said.
If a case is too severe to treat remotely — or if the symptom is deemed to not be acne — NoviMedicine will refer patients to a dermatologist in their area.
The service is currently in beta testing and available only in California. The Spanogle brothers plan to expand NoviMedicine on a state-by-state basis, where prescribing medicine via telemedicine is allowed by law. The ability to quickly “ramp up” data demands as they expand is one of the reasons Seth Spanogle said he chose Online Tech’s managed cloud as a hosting solution. A more important reason was Online Tech’s security and commitment to HIPAA compliance to protect the electronic medical records with the sensitive information NoviMedicine collects.
“We looked at some other data centers that claimed to offer some sort of HIPAA compliance,” Spanogle said. “It was really refreshing to see Online Tech had documentation readily available for our attorneys to review and Online Tech was willing to sign a business associate agreement.”
Online Tech’s three Michigan data centers, hosting services and staff meet HIPAA compliance. An independent third-party firm audited the company against the latest Office for Civil Rights’ HIPAA Audit Protocol released by the government in June 2012. The protocol includes a criterion that fulfills the HIPAA Security Rule, Privacy Rule and Breach Notification Rule requirements.
The third-party independent audit is a step often avoided by Online Tech’s competitors, but one that Online Tech co-CEO Yan Ness finds essential for his company’s business model.
“It’s worth it. In today’s world, data is your business,” Ness said. “You can’t operate without it, so we welcome the protections prescribed by the HIPAA Security Rule in order to provide compliant hosting.”
Online Tech, Michigan’s largest managed data center is becoming the largest in the Midwest, expanding into at least four new markets. The “Fort Knox’’ for data is known for complete redundancy — “backups for everything” — from multiple back-up generators and backup systems to locations straddling two power grids and even two CEOs.
Backed by independent HIPAA, PCI, SSAE 16, and SOC 2 testing, Online Tech delivers the security, privacy, and availability expected from world class data center operators. For more information, call (877)740-5028, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.onlinetech.com.
NoviMedicine is a HIPAA-compliant and secure service that allows acne sufferers to obtain consultations with a dermatologist remotely through its virtual office visit technology. By enabling patients to receive evaluation and treatment at home and whenever they choose, NoviMedicine allows for convenient, private, and secure online consults with medical experts. An alumnus of the Rock Health accelerator program, NoviMedicine was founded in 2011 and is based in Los Angeles.