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legal issues in medicine depicted by stethoscope and gavel on book

Top Tips to Avoid Legal Issues in Telemedicine

Nearly 70 percent of physicians are willing to use telemedicine, according to a recent survey, but what the survey didn’t measure is what percentage are concerned about legal issues in telemedicine. Considering the broad variance in telemedicine regulations across the nation, the concern is certainly a valid one. Here are some areas in which newly-minted telemedicine physicians should tread carefully to avoid running afoul of the law. Read more

doctor answering survey for telemedicine adoption

Survey Finds Doctors Ready for Telemedicine Adoption Boom

A new survey by M3 Global Research and American Well has revealed that more physicians are using telemedicine now (22 percent) than in 2015 (5 percent), and the trend is expected to continue upwards; over half of US doctors expect to use the technology by 2022. The polled physicians cited a number of reasons for their readiness for telemedicine adoption, although some uncertainties remain. Read more

Telemedicine doctors use smartphone apps to treat patients from home

The Rise of Telemedicine Doctors

If telemedicine could be considered a specialty, then telemedicine doctors are on the rise. The newest generation of young doctors, fresh from medical school and having grown up wired to the Internet, are embracing the flexibility of working from home while treating patients remotely rather than trekking into a clinic each day. By teaming up with telemedicine companies that offer direct-to-consumer services, these docs are connecting with patients through real-time video conferencing apps on laptops and smartphones. The result? Satisfied patients receiving good quality care and satisfied doctors enjoying a good quality of life. Read more

Open bottle of prescription medicine

The Impact of Telepharmacy on Controlled Substances, Patients and Prescribers

As telemedicine becomes more commonplace, telepharmacy grows more popular as well, especially for patients in remote rural areas who lack easy access to physicians and pharmacists. When it comes to controlled substances, though, the practice of prescribing medication through telemedicine becomes tricky; should in-person office visits between patients and providers be required? Read more

PRESS RELEASE: swyMed Announces Formation of Scientific Advisory Board

Physicians with outstanding leadership and clinical experience introduced as members

Lexington, Mass. – January 31, 2017 – swyMed, a provider of exceptional-quality video telemedicine solutions, today announced the creation of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) with four key appointments: Lester Wold, M.D.; James McCarthy, M.D.; Ronald Merrell, M.D.; and Noah Rosen, M.D. The Scientific Advisory Board will advise swyMed on the highest value applications for swyMed’s truly mobile telemedicine solutions, and how innovative healthcare providers can further use the technology to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs. Read more

Sick girl in hospital bed

Telemedicine Preserves Clinical Impressions

Those who are skeptical of telemedicine question whether the quality of care provided by a video visit can match that of an in-office visit, but a recent study suggests that clinical impressions are retained highly during telemedicine consultations. Read more

Telemed doctor using tablet

Who Wants to Be a Telemed Doctor?

Patients in rural areas and with limited transportation may welcome telemedicine, but what about the doctors?

It appears that physicians everywhere are also embracing this technology. A recent nationwide poll, conducted by QuantiaMD and American Well, reveals that 57 percent of primary care physicians are interested and willing to conduct telemedicine visits with their patients (1).

To better understand this response, let’s examine the context. As revealed by the survey, doctors are spending increasing time on non-reimbursable phone and email communications with patients. The average family doctor devotes nearly 4 hours per week on phone calls and emails, and each phone call alone costs roughly $20 of the physician’s time.

In this situation, it makes sense to replace non-reimbursable activities with billable telemedicine hours. Read more

Schoolboy with sore throat

Telemedicine in Schools Makes It Harder to Play Hooky

With the rapid growth of telemedicine, missing school to see the doctor may soon be unheard of.

Thanks to a grant, Burke County Public Schools will implement Health-e-Schools program this fall. This initiative, offered by North Carolina’s Center for Rural Health Innovation, is being funded by a $701,207 grant from the Duke Endowment Grant Project.

The grant was earmarked for rural areas with less access to healthcare than urban regions. By introducing telemedicine in schools, the program will make it easier and faster for students to receive care. The goal of the initiative is to extend the reach of primary care physicians, rather than replace them. Read more

swyMed Goes the Distance for Mobile Stroke Units

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

iPods and Raising Telemedicine Adoption

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What about the Doctors?

telemediPod 2000 try it bdr

The seeds of this article began when my CEO forwarded a Gartner case study from 2008[1]with the question, “If a hospital could do 345,000 video visits up to 2007, why hasn’t telemedicine expanded more?  Is the issue technological, cultural, managerial, or..?”

Fantastic question.  The issue definitely isn’t technological–at least from a capabilities standpoint.  It may be from a design standpoint…but more on that later.  I’d argue that it is indeed cultural and managerial, although some of that culture and management reflects back on us, the telemedicine solution providers.

We are presented with a quandary: 1) Where telemedicine has been systematically implemented, it has radically improved patient care, lowered costs, improved doctor/staff morale, and even increased revenue…even in the face of lingering payor reimbursement questions currently being worked out by insurers and state legislatures, and yet… 2) Adoption by both individual healthcare providers and organizations has been, well, lackluster, and often outright resisted.

The gap is caused because Read more