anxious woman biting nails

Home Telepsychiatry Reduces Anxiety, Saves Lives

Telemedicine has often been touted as a solution for remote regions with physician shortages, but one area of medicine is finding that telemedicine brings unexpected benefits, even if the patient lives right around the corner. Home telepsychiatry brings psychotherapy to the patient and meets the patient’s needs where he/she is. In the process, the physician can gain invaluable insight into the patient’s living situation—insight that might otherwise take weeks to uncover during in-office therapy sessions. For instance, a patient once complained of a cluttered home; she turned out to be a hoarder. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has discovered especially intriguing results from using home telepsychiatry. Read more

ambulance hurrying down street

Anthem Begins EMS Reimbursements, Even without Transport

When it comes to EMS reimbursements—even without transferring the patient—Anthem BlueCross BlueShield is leading the way. In an era when community paramedicine, mobile healthcare concepts, and telemedicine programs have sometimes struggled to garner financial support, Anthem quietly began paying for on-site treatment by EMS in situations where the consult does not result in a ride to the emergency department. Read more

elderly woman at home on telemedicine visit

New Budget Deal Boosts Telemedicine Coverage

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump signed into law a bipartisan budget deal that impacts Medicare’s telemedicine coverage more than any past legislation, as described by one senator. After a brief government shutdown, Congress approved a two-year budget deal including parts of the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act, the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act, and the Increasing Telehealth Access to Medicare Act. Read more

5G wireless network antenna clipart

For Telemedicine, 5G Networks Hold Promise

The recent speculation over whether the U.S. federal government might build a 5G network brings up an intriguing question: Does telemedicine need 5G networks? At first glance, the answer may appear to be a resounding “Yes” because most telemedicine systems require high-bandwidth networks in order to function reliably. However, a closer look at the current market suggests that a more cautious approach may be warranted. When it comes to telemedicine, 5G may not be a panacea after all—at least not today. Read more

nurse taking patient's blood pressure at home

The Year Ahead in Healthcare Delivery

In 2017, we watched the beginning of a trend toward value-based and patient-centered care, but where is healthcare delivery headed in the coming months? As 2018 unfolds, we at swyMed expect continued growth in patient-centered care, particularly in the following areas: Read more

woman suffering from pollen allergy

Telemedicine for Allergies Receives Key Endorsement

Telemedicine for allergies has been endorsed by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) in recognition of the care delivery platform’s capacity to improve patients’ adherence, outcomes, access to care, and costs. The organization’s latest policy paper outlines 14 position statements on telemedicine adoption, policy, and platform development as they relate to allergy and immunology care. Read more

weight scale and mobile app

Telemedicine for Weight Loss Works Out Well

A recent study has shown that telemedicine for weight loss is effective in helping participants lose significantly more weight than individuals who do not engage in remote health coaching. Combined with physical activity monitoring and low glycemic carbohydrates, the key component appears to be ongoing support through weekly telemedicine sessions with a health coach. Read more

elderly man in ambulance

Maximizing the Potential for Mobile Telestroke

When it comes to treating stroke, every moment counts. A stroke patient only has a three-hour window from symptom onset in which access to the clot-busting and lifesaving drug tPA can do the most good; after that, the chances of recovery plummet. Unfortunately, many regional and rural hospitals don’t have a 24-hour neurologist on hand to make timely diagnoses. To make things worse, only about 27 percent of stroke patients arrive at the hospital within 3.5 hours of symptom onset, leaving nearly three-quarters of stroke patients at risk for more permanent damage. (1) In an effort to deliver care to patients in a timelier manner, systems are increasingly looking into mobile telestroke programs. Read more

cell tower

In the Wake of Harvey, mHealth Infrastructure Stabilizes

Thanks to ever-improving technology, an impressive 96 percent of the cell towers in the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey remained functional, enabling weather correspondents to provide continuous “on the scene” updates—a vast improvement over the limited coverage provided by satellites in the past. This upgrade in wireless technology has significant ramifications for mobile health (mHealth); if meteorologists can use wireless connections consistently and reliably, then so can telemedicine providers. Read more

sad girl outdoors

Harvey’s Youngest Evacuees Saved by Newest Telemedicine Legislation

It’s a good thing that Texas just passed a law easing restrictions on telemedicine visits; otherwise, countless children displaced by Hurricane Harvey would likely be unable to receive prompt medical care for recent injuries, infections, or chronic conditions like asthma. Luckily, the new telemedicine legislation permits real-time visits without an initial in-person visit, allowing doctors across the state to see the children through the technology. Read more