Virtual care offering online treatment anytime, anywhere

(U.S. Air Force photo by Joseph Coslett)

F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. — In the middle of Nebraska at a missile alert facility, an airman gets a fever and needs to see a doctor but the airman’s options are limited — until now.

Maj. Michael Vernale, 90th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron, mental health flight commander, in partnership with the 90th Missile Wing LaunchWERX took this challenge head-on.

They created a virtual care system to provide medical care to airmen in the field.

The idea sets up a video conference systems for doctors to interact with their patients. The wing is setting up rooms at each alert facility with soundproofing materials, using a noise cancellation device and headsets to ensure the virtual appointment is private. This helps the 90th Medical Group achieve their priority, to provide trusted care anytime, anywhere.

“Our hope is this will increase engagement in care, reduce clinic wait times and improve overall individual readiness,” Vernale said.

The virtual care idea was developed but required a lot of coordination and process creation. The 90th MDG purchased and tested all the items.

Vernale could not do this on his own and looked toward LauchWERX for assistance.

“We helped draft and edit documents, user and provider guides and set up the room at the alert facility for use and outlined where all the equipment would be placed,” said Capt. Zach Dennis, LaunchWERX director. “We facilitated communication between several groups for a smooth installation process.”

The overall cost of the idea is $5,500, but will potentially save the U.S. Air Force thousands of hours in the future.

“Supporting this idea was important to us because it saves people time, makes things easier for everyone … less waiting, less driving and more smiles,” Dennis said.

Recommended for you