More Arkansans turn to telemedicine during coronavirus pandemic

PINE BLUFF, Ark. — The COVID-19 pandemic has two local healthcare professionals starting a new company based off a trend they’ve been seeing in recent months: telemedicine.

Justin Owens, Registered Nurse at Jefferson Regional Hospital in Pine Bluff, said people across the country are starting to get treated more and more from the comfort of their homes. 

“I mean, why not? We have the technology and the resources to do it so why not take full advantage of it,” he said. 

It’s these virtual visits that Owens believes is the future of healthcare. 

“There are still a lot of people that are apprehensive about going out in public and being out too much,” he said. 

Understanding how Arkansans are feeling and wanting to take the pressure off hospitals and clinics across the state, Owens and his co-worker decided to offer their skills in this new way.

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“We kind of came together and thought, you know, why can’t we break this out and do virtual visits,” he asked. 

A couple weeks ago the team hit the ground running with their website heartsoundshealth.com.

They can see patients for any of the common illnesses that, according to Owens, usually would have people visiting a hospital or clinic. 

“Their having to use all of their resources and everything that they have to help fight this, so if we could even take just a little bit of that burden off of the bigger hospital systems, then I really think we’ll be doing a great service for the state,” he said. 

This service that Owens said will be offered at a cost of $15 for a nurse consultation and $45 for a physician visit. 

“That’s another way we are trying to help patients out too. I know this whole thing has put a burden on everybody all the way around. From not being able to go out in public to their pockets to their wallets, everything,” he said.

Owens said the team will be doing test runs with their nurses this weekend and will be ready to serve Arkansans on Monday, May 4.

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