By now, you’ve most likely heard about telemedicine being used in hospitals, ambulances, and doctor’s offices—and maybe even workplaces and pharmacies—but the technology is appearing in more places than you might think. Of all the places that are leveraging these services, here are just three of the most intriguing telemedicine uses. Read more
A new study indicates that telemedicine mobile stroke units offer a practical and cost-effective way to treat suspected strokes more quickly than waiting until arrival at the hospital. Most mobile stroke units bring a neurophysician on board, but it’s a time-consuming and costly strategy. Read more
When it comes to combining personal health with the convenience of mobile devices, what do smartphone users really want? A recent study suggests that people want to be fully engaged online, including accessing their health records and communicating with their healthcare providers—all from their phones and tablets. It’s a great idea in theory, but can everything actually fit into one application? Read more
The MassGeneral Hospital for Children Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) has found two intriguing uses for mobile video conferencing: comforting anxious families and consulting physicians at home.
Sometimes, parents can’t be at their child’s bedside. While the hospital strives to make visiting family members comfortable with in-room beds and desks, they help reduce absent parents’ anxiety by loaning them tablet devices. With secure mobile video conferencing, parents can see, hear, and interact with their children, physicians, and nurses—in essence, “being there” without actually being there. Read more
In recent years, telemedicine has received a lot of attention for increasing access to healthcare in rural areas. However, there’s another population, often overlooked, that can benefit greatly from this evolving technology: residents of long-term care facilities. These patients also experience reduced accessibility to healthcare due to transportation issues or being homebound thanks to illness or injury, and their hospital readmissions are raising cost concerns among facilities. By implementing telemedicine in long-term care, we can address both challenges with one solution. Read more
For common ailments—such as earaches, rashes, or sprains—is a visit to the doctor really necessary? Thanks to telemedicine kiosks, the answer may soon be a resounding “No.”
In recent months, telemedicine kiosks have begun appearing across the country in pilot programs. These self-contained booths are bringing doctor consults into retail pharmacies, workplaces, and even city halls, making it easier and cheaper for individuals to receive health care for non-emergency needs, especially during nights and weekends. Read more
Is a professional-level camera required for on-the-go telemedicine consults? The rise of healthcare using mobile devices—known as mhealth—is leading to questions about whether the images taken with smartphones can be trusted for accurate clinical diagnoses. Read more
We’ve all heard that “Time is Money,” but what about “Time is Brain”? When it comes to treating strokes, we already know that every minute really can make a difference in recovery. In this high-pressure environment, the health care industry eagerly embraces any proven innovation that can save crucial seconds in delivering treatment.
That’s where mobile stroke units come in. Recently named as the leader among the Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2015 by the Cleveland Clinic, mobile stroke ambulances are equipped with telemedicine units so stroke treatment can begin en route to the hospital.
Sounds great, but what’s the catch? Mobile stroke care only works if the technology works. Read more
Last week we participated at the Connected Health Symposium hosted by Partners Healthcare in Boston. Jeff Urdan, our COO, gave a presentation on swyMed for the fourth annual Innovators Challenge, a symposium event to draw attention to, as they say on their website, “products that are genuinely new and potentially game-changing for connected health.” He also had a chance to report back on his key takeaways from the event.
1) Wearables May Take Over the World
Lots of companies are doing cool things with wearable sensors sending data to smart phones. At the Innovators Challenge alone there were:
- Basis – a fitness and sleep tracker watch conceptually similar to the iWatch and Samsung (but better of course!)
- FeverSmart – a temperature monitor for tracking fever. It is intended for babies so parents can know both how the child is trending and can give actual data to their pediatrician rather than guesstimates…but imagine the Ebola applications for monitoring people who might have been exposed and need to be monitored for the 21 day incubation period!
- GoodLux Technology – measures light exposure which has been shown to impact both seasonal affective disorder and depression.
“Is your cucumber bitter? Throw it away. Are there briars in your path? Turn aside. That is enough.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations.
For an industry full of innovators, there’s a distinct lack of innovation in overcoming the reimbursement issue. I believe this is largely because we’ve trained ourselves to continue focusing on reimbursement, rather than discovering how to make the lack of reimbursement work for us or on creating a new model of telemedicine that makes reimbursement an afterthought.
If you believe telemedicine won’t expand until reimbursement is solved, why are any of us involved in Telemedicine? (I assume it’s to improve healthcare, which means we shouldn’t let reimbursement stop us.)
This is not to say that reimbursement is not impo Read more
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