EWA BEACH, Hawaii (KHON2) — It is easier for west Oahu residents to see the doctor.
The Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center (WCCHC) has a new telehealth system that allows a patient to get hands-on medical exams through video.
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The telehealth kiosk is located in WCCHC’s Ewa-West Oahu Community Health clinic and is meant for under served populations that lack easy access to medical or internet services — especially those with doctors in Honolulu.
“But they live down here and they really don’t have the best broadband or they’re really counting their minutes on their program,” said Dr. Stephen Bradley, WCCHC chief medical officer.
A technician can help out during the exam, or patients can use the technology themselves to give their doctor a look at their heart, ears, lungs and throat.
“By listening to the lung sounds you can see, is there congestion, is there wheezing? Look at the throat, are the tonsils enlarged, is it red? The ear, earaches are notorious, especially in the pediatric population,” Dr. Bradley said, “and all those can be diagnosed through this technology.”
All the medical attachments are disposable and get swapped out after each patient. The kiosk is funded through an Aloha Care grant, they told KHON2 that the service is meant to help those who need it most.
Patients can walk in or make an appointment by calling ahead.
“But we’re really excited to be offering to the community, regardless of the kind of health insurance you have or if you don’t have health insurance,” said Paula Arcena, Aloha Care external affairs vice president. “This is going to provide a way for folks to get that kind of help.”
Dr. Bradley added that telehealth has served middle and upper class communities since the pandemic began, so he is happy to blend hands-on exams and video technology for everyone.
“The paradigm has always been you have to go to the doctor, to the facility. We’re bringing the facility to the neighborhood saying, ‘Come utilize our facilities,’ and we welcome everybody.”
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The kiosk at Ewa-West Oahu is already open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and there are plans to open another kiosk at the Tamura’s Super Market in Waianae in Fall 2022.