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Mick with Backpack overlooking valley

Alaska Puts DOT Backpack to the Test for Rural Telemedicine

As one of the most sparsely populated areas in the country, Alaska presents a host of challenges for rural telemedicine, such as having sufficient bandwidth to support the demands of live video, but it also offers a wealth of opportunities for the industry—namely, minimizing highly inconvenient travel requirements and allowing specialists to see more patients within a given day. Recently, Partners In Energy (PIE) Advisors put the swyMed DOT Telemedicine Backpack to the test in Alaska’s wilderness to test its connectivity and performance in extremely remote, unforgiving environments, with the ultimate goal of using this tool to deliver a higher standard of healthcare to the underserved indigenous population. Read more

medication shaped as prison bars

Using Addiction Telemedicine to Enhance Care

Every day, an estimated 115 people die from opioid abuse. To address the substance abuse epidemic—of opioids and other drugs–healthcare providers develop treatment plans that combine addiction control with behavioral and psychiatric care in a personalized package. Traditionally, treatment has centered around group therapy and in-office visits. Now, with the rise of telemedicine, providers can now work with patients at any time and place and can see first-hand aspects of the patient’s daily life. Read more

graphic of doctor pointing to kidneys

Vanderbilt Telenephrology Clinic Goes Online

Thanks to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, potential recipients of kidney transplants in Tennessee can now choose whether to travel to Vanderbilt for an in-person visit or to remain local with a telemedicine consultation. The Vanderbilt Transplant Center, based in Nashville, recently set up its first telenephrology clinic in Jackson—roughly two hours away—through which specialists can evaluate proposed candidates for kidney transplants and conduct monthly exams for patients who have already received kidney transplants. 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

Family doctor with stethoscope for health check

2018’s Biggest Telemedicine Trends

At the beginning of the year, we made a few predictions as to what changes would be wrought in healthcare delivery throughout 2018. Now that we’re halfway through the year, let’s look at healthcare delivery and beyond to see what telemedicine trends are emerging in the healthcare sector overall. Read more

Life Flight mobile ambulance

ER Telemedicine Leads to Faster Treatments

A recent study from the University of Iowa shows that in rural emergency departments, patients who had ER telemedicine consults generally saw clinicians more quickly and had shorter lengths-of-stay at the emergency room before a hospital transfer than patients who did not have telemedicine consults. That 15-minute difference, said lead researcher Nicholas Mohr, MD, can be important for patients with certain serious diseases such as stroke, myocardial infarction, or severe trauma. Read more

little girl playing with blocks on carpet

Telehealth for Autism Shows Promise

Raising a child with autism can be challenging but rewarding, say their parents, but telemedicine is beginning to show itself to be a valuable tool. Whether it’s being used for remote assessments to diagnose autism or remote in-home therapy, telehealth for autism is currently being studied—and the preliminary results look promising. Read more

colorful continental USA map

VA Eliminates Licensure Barrier to Interstate Telemedicine

As part of the new “Anywhere to Anywhere VA Health Care Initiative,” Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) providers will soon be able to provide telehealth services across state lines regardless of the state’s licensing rules. The goal is to create a national telemedicine network that can reach veterans in their homes or at locations outside VA hospitals. Effective June 11, the change is expected to increase access to care by making more clinicians available for appointments for patients in rural, remote, or medically underserved areas. 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

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