Telemedicine Specialists: A New Discipline?

Considering the steady growth of the telemedicine industry, two physicians at New York-Presbyterian have proposed the creation of a new specialty representing the “medical virtualist.” In a recent JAMA Viewpoint article, the authors cite a combination of the lack of oversight, inconsistent training, and specific skill sets, including webside manner, as compelling reasons for certifying full-time telemedicine specialists with a defined set of core competencies. Read more

NBC News Affiliate Highlights swyMed’s Mobile Telehealth Solution

swyMed recently announced that it has joined forces with the Commission on State Emergency Communications (CSEC) and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) on a program to implement telemedicine between EMS providers and a select group of trauma centers in rural West Texas. The objective of the project is to improve patient outcomes by using telemedicine technology to bring the judgment of trauma surgeons into the back of ambulances to assess and direct treatment. Read more

elderly man with walker trying to stand

Telemedicine for Movement Disorders Is Well-Received

A professor at Emory University is finding great success in using telemedicine for movement disorders. Recently, Jaime Hatcher-Martin, MD, PhD, a movement disorders specialist at Emory University Hospital, was asked about her experiences with telemedicine. Having founded Emory’s movement disorders telemedicine clinic, Hatcher-Martin is ready to offer guidance to clinicians who are interested in telemedicine. Read more

bedside manner

Telemedicine Drives Development of “Webside” Manners

It’s well-known that a physician’s bedside manner can help him reassure and relate to a patient, but what about “webside” manner? With the growing popularity of telemedicine, the bulk of the attention is given to the technology driving the industry, but providers are finding that their body language cues are taking on entirely new meanings in front of the webcam. Read more

Doctor on tablet concept

Remote Patient Evaluation (RPE) Is Ready for Primetime

To date, remote patient monitoring (RPM) has used digital technologies to collect health data from patients in one place and transmit that information securely to case managers somewhere else. This approach has proven useful for caregivers to prioritize follow-ups and monitor compliance as they have easy access to real-time data such as: weight, glucose levels, blood pressure, heart rate, air flow and even subjective survey data trends measured by patients in the comfort of their homes. Read more

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Proposed Rule Would Allow VA Telemedicine Providers to Treat Patients across State Lines

If the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs gets its way, VA telemedicine providers will soon be exempt from state restrictions that prohibit physicians from seeing patients in another state without being licensed to practice there. The goal of the proposed rule, the Veterans E-health and Telemedicine Support Act of 2017, is to increase veterans’ access to care and timeliness of treatment, especially in rural and underserved areas. Read more

occupational therapy

Texas Considers Expanding Telemedicine Reimbursement for Workers’ Comp Cases

Now that Texas state officials have finally opened the doors for telemedicine expansion, they certainly aren’t wasting any time: The Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) has proposed an informal rule that would eliminate Medicare-based restrictions on originating sites and reimbursement for workers’ comp cases. 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

newborn baby

Pediatric Telemedicine Combats Child Blindness

With few eye specialists on hand, how do you fight preventable infant blindness? Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the largest pediatric multispecialty medical group in the U.S., approached the problem with technology. Rather than waiting for infrequent medical missions trips to Armenia, Thomas Lee, MD, and his team use pediatric telemedicine so that specialists in L.A. can train surgeons in remote locations and empower them to combat child blindness without waiting for assistance. 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