pulse oximeter on finger

Telemedicine at Home Can Prolong Lives, Study Says

A new study from Germany, published in The Lancet, has shown that for patients with chronic heart failure, supplementing traditional care with remote patient management intervention via telemedicine can reduce hospitalizations and increase life expectancies in both rural and urban settings. During the study, patient data measured at home was transmitted to the telemedicine center for immediate analysis; a deterioration in values was addressed instantly, such as adjusting the medication dosage, with a recommendation for an outpatient office visit or inpatient treatment. Read more

scoreboard with check or cross

Infectious Disease Telemedicine: 1, Germs: 0

Veterans Health Administration (VA) hospitals are refusing to be held back by a shortage of Infectious Disease (ID) specialists. A pilot program, described this month in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, paired staff at two rural VA hospitals lacking ID specialists with ID experts at larger health systems for weekly meetings through a connected care platform. Infectious disease telemedicine looks promising: During the study, rural providers followed more than two-thirds of the specialists’ recommendations and became more confident in their ability to determine the best way to use antibiotics. Read more

hand holding smartphone with medical icons

Why Are Telemedicine Utilization Rates Slow to Catch Up?

Mercer’s latest National Survey reveals that these days, the majority of large companies offer telemedicine services to their employees—but employee telemedicine utilization rates are surprisingly slow to catch up. Over 70% of employers with at 500 employees report that their workers have access to telemedicine services through either their health plan or through a specialty vendor contracted outside their health plan, but in 2016, only 7% of eligible employees used telemedicine at least once. Read more