RALEIGH, N.C. – TCS and WEPPA are going VirtuMedix.

Wake Emergency Physicians, PA (WEPPA), in partnership with TeleCommunication Systems (NASDAQ: TSYS), are launching the VirtuMedix Telehealth Platform this week at the American College of Emergency Physicians’ ACEP14 in Chicago.

VirtuMedix is a secure, virtual collaboration platform designed for remote consultation of health care providers and patients, according to TCS. This platform aims to address the rapidly growing market for video telemedicine solutions.

WEPPA, a North Carolina-based independent emergency medicine group, is the first to deploy the platform for improved patient care by its 136 emergency specialists who treat nearly 300,000 patients annually.

According to new research by Deloitte, 75 million “virtual” doctor visits, or 1 in 6 will occur this year alone. Frost & Sullivan forecasts that the video telemedicine market in North America will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16.7 percent from 2012 to reach more than $600 million in 2017.

This growth is expected to intensify as telehealth initiatives align with the goals of the federal government and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to reduce health care spending and improve quality of care to patients.

According to TCS, the VirtuMedix platform provides patients with an alternative to urgent care centers or emergency rooms for acute care situations. It also may be used in long-term care situations such as assisted living, rehabilitation centers, or chronic disease management.

Built in collaboration with WEPPA, VirtuMedix offers a new approach to patient management and clinician workflows while helping to improve overall health care delivery to the patient that also is HIPAA-compliant. The simple user interface and toolsets make it easy for clinicians to view various on-call rosters and to manage patient volume.

It comes with picture upload capabilities, allowing patients to securely share high-definition images of their medical issues, such as a bite or rash, using a mobile device or web app. VirtuMedix also integrates ePrescribe capabilities to expand a physicians’ clinical toolset, improving productivity and speed of care. Finally, it has a simple electronic medical record system so doctors can see patients’ records, and enables patients to produce an invoice for insurance claims.

“WEPPA was looking for an off-the-shelf solution that could be tailored to the needs of our emergency medicine physicians and help us to stay in front of the many changes in the health care marketplace,” said Dr. Bobby Park of WEPPA.

TCS Commercial Software Group President Jay Whitehurst said WEPPA physicians treat nearly 300,000 patients annually and are highly respected for their exceptional emergency care and their clinical leadership in advancing emergency medicine.

“Being a first-of-its-kind telemedicine solution, VirtuMedix is a natural fit with WEPPA, leveraging new technology to offer cost-effective and efficient care,” he added. “It puts patients in greater control of their health and wellness, enabling easy and rapid access to healthcare in a way that fits with the patient’s lifestyle.”

TCS will showcase and demo VirtuMedix this week at ACEP14 in Chicago.