WorldCare to launch Internet-based telemedicine services in Venezuela

Cambridge 01 June 1999 WorldCare Limited, a global industry provider of international telemedicine services, technology and insurance, has announced that its subsidiary, WorldCare International Limited, has joined with General de Seguros, S.A., one of the largest insurance companies in Venezuela to form Corporacion WorldCare Venezuela, C.A., in order to promote telemedicine services country wide.

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WorldCare Limited, a global industry provider of international telemedicine services, technology and insurance, has announced that its subsidiary, WorldCare International Limited, has joined with General de Seguros, S.A., one of the largest insurance companies in Venezuela to form Corporacion WorldCare Venezuela, C.A., in order to promote telemedicine services country wide.

WorldCare Venezuela will provide consumers with telemedicine insurance and managed access to specialists as well as sub-specialists at the WorldCare Consortium of prestigious U.S. medical centers, like Partners HealthCare System Inc., that is comprised in part of Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham And Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; The Cleveland Clinic Foundation; Duke University Health System and Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Both Nasser Menhall, Chief Executive Officer of WorldCare and Armando Del Bosque, Managing Director of WorldCare International, Latin America, have issued a joint statement saying that they are pleased to partner with General de Seguros, S.A., and its dynamic Vice-President of Financial Services, Mr. Andres B. Capriles. Mr. Capriles recognizes that WorldCare's telemedicine insurance is a valuable industry differentiator, leveraging the revolutionary power of the Internet as medium for the delivery of the specialist health care services.

These services are designed not to compete with, but to compliment the high quality health care that is already delivered in Venezuela. With WorldCare's insurance products, its working relationship with the unique consortium of renowned academic medical centers, and its ongoing design of telemedicine technology applications including teleradiology, telepathology, as well as teledermatology, patients throughout Venezuela, who are covered by General de Seguros, will be able to secure the very latest, U.S. medical expertise at no additional cost as a benefit of enrollment.

Other unenrolled patients will also be able to secure these second opinion and case management consultations at an affordable cost. The business focus is to provide managed access to quality medical care wherever and whenever it is needed. This is a compelling model for health care insurers world wide, according to Nasser Menhall and Armando Del Bosque.

James Thrall, Chairman, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital and WorldCare Consortium spokesman stated that today, the model in health care is consultation and collaboration. Patients, particularly those with serious or complex illnesses, expect their physicians to make specialist and/or sub-specialist referrals to confirm a diagnosis and formulate the very best treatment plans.

WorldCare Venezuela has been established to enable Venezuelan physicians to secure private, confidential and expert consultations for their patients in as little as 48-72 hours after the receipt of a complete medical record. In case of emergency, this can be done within 24 hours. All the consortium institutions worked closely with WorldCare to develop effective telemedicine applications and protocols. James Thrall is looking forward to exchanging medical knowledge with the colleagues in Venezuela to meet the specialist health care needs of their patients on an elective and/or emergency basis.

Andres B. Capriles, President, WorldCare Venezuela stated that the Internet has and will continue to generate an unprecedented and global consumer movement in health care. WorldCare Venezuela stands ready to respond to this movement by providing physicians with an efficient, medically validated means to obtain expert, U.S. based consultation for their patients. All the referring doctor needs to do is make a call to the Caracas-based telemedicine hub. There, trained telemedicine coordinators will facilitate assembly of the patient's medical record.

This team will digitize, encrypt and transmit all relevant medical information including X-Rays, CT Scans, MRI and Ultrasound studies as an Electronic Telemedicine Record or ETR to WorldCare's Central Telemedicine Hub for review prior to consortium hospital routing. A comprehensive, written second opinion and/or patient management consultation will be e-mailed or faxed to the referring physician within 48-72 hours.

WorldCare's telemedicine services are designed in a way to optimize health care outcomes without disrupting the local physician-patient relationships. These services will increase consumer satisfaction and equally reinforce a continuum of high quality care, as Andres B. Capriles believes. Read more on WorldCare's services in our January 1999 VMW article WorldCare launches spin-off and assists in clinical trial for cancer treatment.


Leslie Versweyveld

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