Spectrum Health’s On-Demand Virtual Urgent Care is Going to Transform Family Health
Spectrum Health’s New TytoCare Partnership Lets You
- See a doc within minutes, no matter where you are in Michigan.
- Check things like sore throats, suspicious ticks, rashes and possible ear infections.
- Avoid hefty Emergency Room and Urgent Care costs & long waits in line.
- Get Urgent Care even during a snowstorm or bad weather – without having to drive.
I May Never Have to take My Son to the ER at 2 AM Again!
It’s the middle of the night, and my son has woken up with a fever and cough – again. He is having trouble breathing. Does he need urgent care, just like last time? Or is this just a cold?
I can’t risk him becoming more ill so I pile everyone into the car at 2 AM to wait in line in the Emergency Room.
This scenario happened to us all the time when my son was younger. While some visits resulted in nebulizers and medicine, other times he just needed some over the counter meds and rest.
Every wheezing incident was scary, exhausting, and expensive. I vividly remember the times I agonized over whether or not his wheezing required an ER visit. We ended up going every time – better safe than sorry, right?
Now there is another way to get answers without the drive and ER wait times. Spectrum Health has figured out a way to get virtual health care on demand, with an exam that is just as thorough as an in-person appointment.
TytoCare Helps Docs Assess your Child’s Temp, Throat, Lungs and More, 24 Hours a Day
A Spectrum Health visit with a TytoCare device is not just a face-to-face video call where a nurse assesses your illness by the look on your face and the symptoms you describe.
TytoCare allows medical professionals to get actual health data from you.
TytoCare is an at-home medical exam kit that allows you to connect with a Spectrum Health doctor within 10 minutes from the comfort of your home. It pairs with your mobile device or computer through an internet connection.
Within 10 minutes, you are on a video call with a medical professional.
The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
TytoCare appointments can be made for patients ages 3 and older. It costs less than a typical ER visit and can be purchased with FSA/HSA funds.
Many of us have experienced virtual appointments during the Covid pandemic. The difference with a virtual appointment using TytoCare is that your Spectrum Health provider has control of your TytoCare device and directs you on taking the patient’s temperature, listening to heart and lungs, examining ears and throat, or inspecting skin conditions like rashes and insect bites.
Sound complicated? It’s really not!
They have an informative tutorial on the app called “Tyto Academy” that only takes a short time to complete. Even if you skip that step, the app and device tell you exactly what to do, step-by-step.
After you are connected with the Spectrum Health medical provider, they control the appointment by connecting to the TytoCare device and giving you directions. I was very surprised just how easy it was to use!
How TytoCare Home Kit Works
When I opened the TytoCare box, I was immediately impressed.
It comes in a sturdy case and looks like something you would see in a doctor’s office. It also struck me as an excellent value for the price – this thing was legit!
There are three main attachments:
- a stethoscope adapter for listening to a patient’s heart and lungs
- an otoscope for examining ears
- an adaptor for a tongue depressor
The device itself has a built-in camera with a light, as well as a no-touch thermometer.
It runs by battery and comes with a cord for charging. There are disposable accessories: tongue depressors and ear caps in both children and adult sizing.
I was pleasantly surprised to see a table-top stand to hold up my phone or tablet included as well.
What a TytoCare Exam is Like
The first step to connecting with a provider is to download the free TytoCare app to your mobile device.
Step-by-step prompts help you connect to the internet and pair your device to the app.
Next, you schedule a virtual on-demand appointment by logging onto Spectrum Health’s My Chart, or calling your local Spectrum Health office.
You can either schedule in advance with your primary care provider, or access My Chart to start an urgent care appointment, and a provider will be available within ten minutes to meet with you.
I just had to see how this worked so I had my daughter Marin try out TytoCare with me.
We made an appointment and then connected with Elizabeth, a Spectrum Health physician’s assistant. She introduced herself and showed us her badge, then directed us to start with a heart exam.
She gave me verbal directions while the device screen showed me the exact location for placing the stethoscope.
Within 15 minutes, she listened to my daughter’s heart and lungs, examined her eardrums and throat, took her temperature, and even examined a mole on her back all while we sat at the kitchen table!
Marin was happy to get her visit over quickly and then move on with her busy kid day!
Would Your Household Benefit From a TytoCare Device?
There are certainly some emergent scenarios where an ER visit is warranted.
But with this device, gone are those stressful “should we go?” moments. If your provider sees you through TytoCare and refers you to an in-person visit, there is no charge for that virtual visit.
The benefits are endless:
- It is easily portable and can be used anywhere in Michigan. (Up north and find a tick latched on? Jump on an appointment with Spectrum Health through TytoCare to figure out next steps!)
- Avoid an expensive ER visit and all that goes along with it: long drives, wait times, potential illness exposure.
- Even if your insurance has copays or upfront charges, you will never pay more than $45 for a TytoCare appointment.
- The device is FDA cleared and meets HIPAA privacy standards.
- If warranted, your medical provider can immediately send a prescription to the nearest pharmacy, whether you are home or traveling around the state.
I wasn’t sold on virtual doctor appointments until I tried this device.
The at-home exam is just as thorough as an in-person visit, and now I can recognize what a healthy ear drum looks like! This is truly the future of virtual medicine: Combining the expertise of your trusted providers at Spectrum Health with the convenience of at-home care. Check out my video below to see the TytoCare in action.
Ready to order one for your household? You can do that here: www.spectrumhealth.org/tytocare
Spectrum Health serves Southwest and West Michigan with award-winning providers and a network of hospitals and care facilities to help you and your family experience their best health.