Program participants will get six telehealth kits that each contain COVID-19 rapid tests and instructions on how to set up a virtual medical visit if and when they begin to feel symptoms of illness.
When someone tests positive for COVID-19 and needs treatment, medical experts can order antiviral medications like Paxlovid to a local pharmacy for pick up. The medication can also be shipped directly to a patient’s home.
Study participants will get the kits, medical visits, and treatments at no cost.
Program leaders said this model of telemedicine is almost entirely virtual, as opposed to when people can test themselves at home, but may still have to go to a doctor’s office in person for a medical visit or to get a prescription for treatment.
Mina said people in certain populations and geographic areas might benefit most from having a virtual option.
“Some people are an hour away from the nearest [brick and mortar] test-to-treat location,” he said, “and that, especially for rural Americans, test-to-treat in person has really been a challenge.”
Mina said he hopes to open the program to the rest of Pennsylvania, and the U.S., in the next couple weeks. He said he plans to roll out influenza home testing and treatment in the near future.