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SOC Telemed: Delivering Critical Care via Telemedicine

 Hammad Shah, CEO
Attracting and retaining skilled clinicians has always been a pain point for U.S. hospitals. Today, ensuring the availability of a specialist in times of need is an ongoing issue for most hospital systems. The shortage of doctors, which the healthcare industry has historically faced, becomes even more severe in the context of specialties such as neurology and mental health. For most hospital networks, securing doctors for consultation, diagnosis, and treatment administration— especially for critical conditions—is a race against the clock. Virginia based SOC Telemed addresses these challenges by providing a cutting-edge technology stack for telemedicine, as well as highly qualified doctors.

Founded in 2004 by a group of neurologists to fill gaps in the availability of and access to qualified neurologists, SOC Telemed brings together physicians and patients through its technology platform, Telemed IQ. Today the company is the largest provider of teleNeurology solutions to hospitals in the country. “SOC Telemed breaks down geographical barriers to make physicians readily available for both general consultation and emergencies,” says Hammad Shah, CEO. A hospital can connect to SOC Telemed via phone or video conferencing on any web-enabled device. “Once they connect with us, they provide information on the kind of assistance they require, and our algorithms determine the best physicians at hand and assign the consultation. As part of our implementation, we agree in advance on the criteria used to rank physicians for availability for consultations and can adjust those rankings at any time. This makes for a very responsive partnership, fueled by technology and data,” adds Shah.

SOC Telemed has commercialized its own telemedicine delivery platform, Telemed IQ, which powers the company’s telePsychiatry, teleNeurology and teleICU offerings.
The flexible, scalable, and proven enterprise-wide telemedicine platform redefines specialty care. Built on a foundation of deep clinical expertise, Telemed IQ enables providers to deploy, optimize and scale a telemedicine program rapidly, seamlessly, and cost-effectively across all care sites. Additionally, the platform gives hospitals the ability to customize their own telemedicine program, utilizing their own set of physicians and hardware along with that of SOC Telemed.

SOC Telemed breaks down geographical barriers to make physicians readily available for both general consultation and emergencies

During a recent implementation of Telemed IQ, a large hospital in Alabama was able to extend its geographic reach into rural branches. Using SOC Telemed to supplement its existing neurologists, the health systems’ team leveraged SOC Telemed to accurately identify which patients needed to be transported to the hub hospital. In yet another instance, a hospital system gained a full-fledged telePsychiatry force in just three weeks through a honed and rapid implementation process, thus enabling the treatment of an influx of patients.

The leader in acute care telemedicine, SOC Telemed recently expanded the national reach of its telePsychiatry resources with the acquisition of behavioral health telemedicine company JSA Health. The combined entity is now the largest acute telePsychiatry practice in the U.S. and provides increased access to high-quality telePsychiatry care for a wide variety of settings, including areas experiencing detrimental shortages of psychiatry doctors.

Looking ahead, SOC Telemed sees many avenues of growth. The company’s Telemed IQ platform will help hospitals build and optimize their own telemedicine programs. But, Shah also sees continued growth in SOC Telemed's established segments. “We are positioned as the largest provider of teleNeurology, telePsychiatry and behavioral health. We will continue to expand in those areas, along with teleICU and other specialties,” concludes Shah.