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Home diagnosis kit gives parents easy access to pediatric doctors

A new medical kit being sold by Ochsner Urgent Care is connecting parents with their physicians from their own homes, around the clock

NEW ORLEANS — 3-year-old Colton Hendrick is feeling much better today thanks to an at-home kit aimed at helping parents find infections. 

When Colton woke up at 3 o'clock one morning, his mom, Mandy Hendrick, thought he was having a nightmare.

"And then I noticed he was kind of like breathing a little fast, saw his cheeks were really red, so I took his temperature. He had 103.5 fever," Mandy said.

After giving him medicine to lower the fever, Hendrick used a new tool, the Ochsner Anywhere Care Health Kit, to take pictures inside of Colton's ears.

She got a fever reading,  used the special stethoscope to get the sound of his lungs and heart beat, and used the tongue depressor to get a clear picture of his throat. 

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Hendrick then uploaded them to an Urgent Care physician. Within minutes, in a virtual tele-medicine chat on her pad, she got her answer.
"So, I am looking at the pictures you uploaded and it looks like he has a little bit of fluid behind that left eardrum," Dr. Ajsa Nikolic, the Medical Director of Advanced Practice Providers at Ochsner Urgent Care, told her.

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The Ochsner Anywhere Care Health Kit has been available to parents for about a month. Hendrick, a registered nurse working at Ochsner, was able to use one she had taken home from work. 

More than 300 parents have bought the kit, and the companion app, which Hendrick used to connect with the doctor, has been downloaded over 10,000 times. 

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The kit itself is being sold for $300. Virtual visits to an urgent care on the free app cost $54. 

"Once I did the exam, all I had to do was click a button and send it to the clinician. I went on the Ochsner Anywhere app and choose the provider I wanted," Hendrick said.

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"I'll send in a prescription for amoxicillin for him," Nikolic said over the video chat. "I'll make sure to put this all in the after visit summary so you can take a look at it. Do you have any questions?" 

Hendrick said the toolkit allowed her to get answers without exposing other children to the illness. And she said the doctors would tell her to come right in if it were something more serious.

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"To be able to do something like this from the comfort of your home, not having to expose your child to other sick people when if it is just an ear infection, it just makes more sense," Hendrick said. 

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