Ed Barthell doesn’t mince words when describing the poor experiences many patients have when they go to the emergency room.
“Emergency medicine is still an industry that essentially delivers lousy service for really high cost,” says Barthell, a doctor who worked in the ER for more than two decades before leaving his clinical practice in 2008 to focus full-time on healthcare technology development.
His latest venture is EmOpti, a Brookfield, WI-based startup that aims to shorten emergency room wait times and hospital stays by having offsite physicians examine some patients over a video feed upon arrival.
Launched in 2015, EmOpti’s tools are currently being used at eight hospitals across four healthcare organizations, including three Aurora Health Care hospitals in southeastern Wisconsin. The startup’s customers have used its Web-based software to perform nearly 100,000 video consultations, Barthell says. EmOpti is now working with its existing customers to shift more of their emergency departments to a “remote provider-in-triage” model, he says. (More on this in a minute.) Meanwhile, the startup is also in talks with additional hospital systems in the U.S. and other countries about making the shift, with EmOpti’s help. Read the full story here.