farm along country road in Southern York County, PA

Rural Telemedicine Growing More Slowly than Expected

Telemedicine has been touted as a revolutionary solution to the shortage of physicians in rural areas, but a recent study published in JAMA suggests that although this trend may have begun, it has not yet snowballed as expected. Between 2005 and 2017, 83.3% of patients with commercial insurance who used telemedicine services lived in urban areas. This suggests that they were not driven to use telemedicine by a shortage of physicians, but rather by other factors such as convenience. Such a surprising result seems contrary to the belief that rural patients are seeking greater access to physicians; if this were the case, then one might expect more rural telemedicine than urban telemedicine. Read more

"equal pay" street signs

Telemedicine Payment Parity Fails in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania remains one of the few states that still lacks a dedicated Telemedicine Act. In an attempt to address both telemedicine payment parity and professional regulation in one Act, Pennsylvania Senate Bill 780—including its clause on coverage and reimbursement for its use—was unanimously approved last June by two Pennsylvania Senate committees, the full Senate, and the House Professional Licensure Committee. However, it failed to pass in the House of Representatives in October. Read more

stressed woman at table with help sign

College Telepsychiatry Finally Catching Up—Slowly

The majority of American college students feel overwhelmed, depressed, and/or anxious, according to the latest American College Health Association survey. Unfortunately, many schools lack easy access to needed mental health care—if they have any at all. And this doesn’t even take into account the students’ hesitation to seek help due to the stigma often associated with mental illnesses. With the growth of telemedicine, telepsychiatry and telemental health present a viable solution that could overcome many of these challenges. Read more

woman in bed with cold

Walmart Offers Free Telemedicine for Consumers

The next time you head to Walmart, you may pick up more than just your groceries and cold medicine—you might also take home a voucher for a no-cost telemedicine consultation with Doctor On Demand, a direct-to-consumer virtual care provider. A new three-way partnership between Walmart, Doctor On Demand, and RB, a leading consumer health and hygiene company, is seeking to provide the public with unprecedented access to physicians from their digital devices during this cold and flu season through telemedicine for consumers. Read more

facial recognition of man

The Future of Telemedicine for Home Health Care: Tracking Vital Signs with a Camera

A key component of Remote Patient Monitoring and its successor, Remote Patient Evaluation, is measuring the patient’s vital signs. Traditionally, this has been accomplished through the use of medical devices, however unreliable or complicated, that sometimes must be operated by healthcare providers dispatched to the patient’s home. Both the devices and home visits can be expensive, thus increasing the program’s bottom-line. So if the purpose of using telemedicine for home health care is to raise patient convenience while reducing costs, how can we measure a home health patient’s vital signs accurately, easily, and cost-effectively? Read more

smart watch health app

Consumers Ready for In-Home Telemedicine

When it comes to health care, what do consumers want? According to the Deloitte 2018 Survey of US Consumers, consumers are looking for convenient and in-network health care providers, wearable devices and apps to use at home, and the ability to share personal health data from the wearable devices. These priorities suggest that consumers are ready to embrace in-home telemedicine, which can address all three desires easily. Read more

JKroon & EGerritsen, presenting award

swyMed Wins Smart Solutions Award

Just this week, at the World of Health Care 2018 (WoHC), conference delegates voted swyMed as the winner of the Smart Solutions Award due to our DOT Telemedicine Backpack’s innovations in tackling challenges to modernize, optimize, and increase the quality, affordability, and accessibility of healthcare. Read more

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

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

little girl playing with blocks on carpet

Telehealth for Autism Shows Promise

Raising a child with autism can be challenging but rewarding, say their parents, but telemedicine is beginning to show itself to be a valuable tool. Whether it’s being used for remote assessments to diagnose autism or remote in-home therapy, telehealth for autism is currently being studied—and the preliminary results look promising. Read more