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
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
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
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
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
What about the Doctors?
The seeds of this article began when my CEO forwarded a Gartner case study from 2008with 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
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