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swyMed_mobile_stroke_unit: mHealth Technology makes teleStroke and ET3 programs possible

mHealth Technology Takes ET3 from Concept to Reality

The long-awaited ET3 program is finally here! After delays caused by the pandemic, the Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) program went into effect on January 1, 2021. To support this initiative, swyMed and Logitech are working together to provide the mHealth technology (mobile real-time audio-visual communications) that makes the ET3 program possible. Read more

Telemedicine Regulations Represented by Stethoscope, Gavel, and Laptop

The Future of Telemedicine Regulations under the Biden Administration

Twelve months ago, few, if any, could have predicted that the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic would linger on into a new presidential administration. Dissatisfied by the lackluster pandemic relief bill passed by Congress and signed by President Trump just before Christmas, which failed to extend the pandemic’s eased stance on telemedicine regulations, industry stakeholders are now looking to President-elect Biden and the 117th Congress to sanction more permanent measures in order to preserve the sudden rise in telemedicine usage during the pandemic. Read more

Street sign points to Road to Success during telemedicine revolution

Top 4 Tips for Navigating the Telemedicine Revolution Smoothly

At least one good thing is coming from the COVID-19 pandemic. By necessity, 2020 has seen huge gains in telemedicine utilization as providers and patients seek to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus. This telemedicine revolution is transforming the provider-patient relationship, both positively and negatively, including the unintended consequences of such rapid adoption of telemedicine. Industry specialists are finding that the adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHR), with its unplanned side effects, provides a relevant and useful model for smoothing the transition to telemedicine for both patients and doctors. Read more

Telemedicine for Emergency Rooms Raises Efficiency and Access to Hospital Beds

Telemedicine in Emergency Rooms: An Initial Look

Overcrowding in emergency departments has long been a universal problem that ultimately compromises patient care quality and experience. Venturing into a seldom-studied niche, researchers explored the application of telemedicine in emergency rooms for care delivery; they found that implementing this practice led to reduced patients’ average lengths of stay and wait times while improving physicians’ efficiency and maintaining care quality and patient cost. Read more

EMT examining little girl's leg injury for telemedicine in-home visit

A New Normal? Telemedicine In-Home Visits May Include Primary Care

Integrating telemedicine into emergency medical services is nothing new, but the focus thus far has revolved around acute cases and specialties such as telestroke. However, in a recently released proof of concept, researchers questioned this trend and applied the model of telemedicine in-home visits to primary care services. This preliminary observatory study suggests that using telemedicine to bring primary care services into the patient’s home may be feasible, effective, and satisfactory for homebound seniors with chronic medical conditions. Read more

Telemedicine case study: Logitech and swyMed working together

Logitech Publishes Telemedicine Case Study Describing Work with swyMed

In order to be most effective and efficient, healthcare providers using telemedicine video visits depend on having the right software and hardware for the situation at hand. For instance, swyMed addresses the software needs neatly and thoroughly. However, a key part of video visits is images; the provider needs to see the patient closely, accurately, and with defined details. With this additional information, the provider can make a more accurate evaluation and diagnosis. swyMed has already proven our dependability in challenging network environments, but we also wanted to present providers with the most precise high-definition (HD) images possible to aid them in assessing patients. Read more

Woman writing "Fraud Prevention" on a clear board, referring to telemedicine fraud

Telemedicine Fraud Plagues Industry Growth

Last March, during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Medicare temporarily eased the telemedicine requirements for reimbursement in order to increase access to care and reserve in-office visits for the sickest patients; in this way, Americans have been able to reduce exposure to COVID-19, for both themselves and healthcare workers, while continuing to receive needed care. However, the unprecedented rapid growth of telemedicine has been accompanied by a rise in telemedicine fraud cases and abuses. Whatever the error may be, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has begun holding offenders accountable for their actions. Ultimately, the telemedicine industry and healthcare providers will find themselves under closer scrutiny in the future. Read more

Elderly man, having trouble seeing, lifts eyeglasses and leans towards computer screen using telemedicine for seniors

Telemedicine for Seniors: Helping Patients Get the Most Out of Their Visits

Out of necessity, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic jump-started the widespread adoption of telemedicine. Most patients have welcomed the convenience and protective advantages offered by the technology, including the elderly. Despite the impressive rise in utilization rate within this demographic, however, telemedicine for seniors still presents significant, more personal challenges that cannot be ameliorated by changes in legislation alone. For this particular population—coined “unready for telemedicine”—any long-term solutions should consider factors that contribute to unreadiness, such as hearing or sight disability, challenges with speaking or conveying thoughts, possible dementia, lack of an internet-capable device, or not having used email, text messages, or the internet in the last month. Read more

"Paid in Full" rubber stamp, representing zero cost sharing for telemedicine

Pandemic Freebies Are Ending—It’s Time for Cost Sharing for Telemedicine

During the anxiety-fraught early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, most major insurers joined the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in waiving co-pays and deductibles for telemedicine visits — cost sharing for telemedicine — in order to encourage people to remain at home, thus reducing possible exposure and transmission of COVID. The public, many of whom were new to telemedicine, readily adopted the technology in favor of convenience and safety, reduced costs, and less travel. Now, however, those halcyon days may be gone. Some major private health insurers have stated that as of Oct. 1, they are no longer paying the full costs for virtual visits that are unrelated to COVID; instead, patients are expected to pay a portion of the costs for the virtual visit, as is the norm for in-person visits. Read more

Gavel for Healthcare

Are Lightened Telemedicine Regulations Here to Stay?

As we’ve noted previously, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrust telemedicine into the spotlight with pro tem lifted telemedicine regulation, allowing both patients and providers to embrace low-contact methods for accessing healthcare. Now, several months into the COVID-19 pandemic, industry stakeholders are examining the currently active telemedicine regulations to determine which changes would encourage medical facilities and providers, ranging from small-practice primary care providers to tertiary care hospitals, to permanently add telemedicine to their routine options for health care delivery. Read more