Man gets life-saving advice at telemedicine kiosk

A New York man might have had his life saved by a doctor who evaluated him via a computer.

36-year-old Ronald Wuaten stopped by the Duane Reade pharmacy at 40 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan to get help for shortness of breath.

He was set up at a telemedicine kiosk at the store where a doctor evaluated his symptoms remotely using camera and a video screen.  The doctor urged him to go to the emergency room at nearby New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital here he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, fluid in his lungs, and diabetes.

"He suggested going to the ER room, I personally thought it was a bit extreme but looking at it backwards and everything I experienced and all the test results that came out, I'm super, super happy," Wuaten says.

The telemedicine kiosks have cameras so the doctors can meet face-to-face with patients and also have basic medical equipment such as blood pressure monitors.  They are set up in private rooms inside the stores and are designed for instant examination, diagnosis and treatment of non-life threatening illnesses.

Dr. Rahul Sharma was the one who evaluated Wuaten through the kiosk.

"I think we saved his life.  He wasn't going to see a doctor, hadn't seen a doctor for years, ended up walking to a pharmacy and we were able to provide this access of care," Dr. Sharma says.

Wuaten says he is now feeling much better now that he is getting much needed medical care.