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Tech privately connects patients to doctorsPrivacy breaches will subject health-care providers to heavy fines under a federal law that kicks in March 25. CNET's Kara Tsuboi profiles one tech company devoted to providing secure connections between stay-at-home patients and their doctors.
-This doesn't look or sound like your typical pediatrician visit. -How's today going? -It's good. He stopped being cranky. He's taking antibiotics really well. -From a northern California home, Colleen Beeson has logged on to VSee, a free telehealth app on her iPad to video chat with the doctor in Florida about her son Darien's ear infection. -It's nice to be able to put the TV on for the toddler and I like talk to the doctor with no interruptions. -2, -3. -VSEE was designed for families like the Beesons, people who live in remote areas here in the U.S. or even worldwide who have non-emergency medical concerns. -Last year, in the U.S., we have 9 million doctor visits in the U.S. and people estimate about 50 percent of that 900 million could be [unk]. -VSee Founder and CEO Milton Chen says, well, other services like Skype and Google Video are good for consumer uses, VSEE is the first HIPAA compliant FDA registered telehealth app that is free to patients. Patients pay the medical provider who then, in turn, pay VSee a usage fee. -Saving a long trip to San Francisco, saving money on parking in San Francisco, there's a lot of benefits and I think patients are really excited by the opportunity. -Kate Loranger, a licensed genetic counselor at University of California San Francisco Medical Center, particularly likes VSee for the ability to simultaneously view documents during a video chat. -We can really easily send them the family tree that we're looking at and we can, actually, use electronic pen to circle areas of the pedigree that we're focusing in on. -In less than 2 years on the market, tens of thousands of patients and thousands of doctors have used VSee. More are coming online daily proving telemedicine visits are going to become common place. In San Francisco, I'm Kara Tsuboi, cnet.com for CBS News.