Wheeling Health Right rolls out first in the Valley Telemedicine pod; traveling acute visits now a reality


WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Wheeling Health Right is rolling out new technology; paving the way for Telemedicine in the Ohio Valley. 

Now, you will be able to get your vitals taken without having to step foot in the free clinic.  

It’s called the medpod and nurse practitioners at Wheeling Health Right say they are the first free clinic in the Valley to get this system; a service that only came about due to the pandemic.  

This helps Wheeling Health Right expand and touch more people and be able to make access to care to more patients who may not have care right now.

Shawn Core, Clinical Director at Wheeling Health Right 

The medpod can travel all the way to Wetzel or Belmont County in a suitcase. Once unpacked, a nurse can take your temp without you having to travel, while the info is fed back to Wheeling’s clinic; reaching the clinical director on the other end! 

The patients meet the staff member at the distant location. The staff member hooks the patient up to this pod system. We can get blood pressure, temperature, height and weight, we can look at skin lesions, we can look in their ear and see the eardrum on the screen as the patient is sitting with us.

Shawn Core, Clinical Director at Wheeling Health Right 

This helps nurse practitioners stay put at the clinic and meet two needs at the same time.  

My nurse is out in Belmont County and they call in. They need an acute visit; they’ve got an ear infection. They don’t have to drive all the way to Wheeling. They could go to the office space where my nurse is at, she can throw the scope in their ear, and I can pull it up and see. I can call them antibiotics in if that’s what’s necessary. So, it kind of helps get more people seen if you have an acute or six-month follow up basis and it touches more people. 

Shawn Core, Clinical Director at Wheeling Health Right 

Stumbling upon the medpod, you may be wondering how a free clinic was able to pay for this. Other than tapping into COVID-19 government funding, two private entities paid it forward for the $51,000 gadget.  

This is huge. The camera alone, this camera, is $9,000. So, the technology is amazing and the clarity you can see on the camera is amazing as well.

Shawn Core, Clinical Director at Wheeling Health Right

Now the need during a pandemic made this gear possible for the free clinic, but it will extend far beyond that. Nurses say they’ll be reaching people remotely long after COVID-19 dissipates. 

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