From J D Faccinetti cofounder – The rapid changes in technology have enabled a complex mix of services in a variety of care venues including homes, hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, and other healthcare facilities. Telemedicine or telehealth has emerged as one of these services that are quickly gaining a foot in the US and around the world. Telemedicine provides health and clinical services using a wide array of technology including the internet, satellite, wireless, telecommunications and media.
According to several sources and a recent article by the American Telemedicine Association, there are approximately 200 telemedicine networks with 3500 service sites. The ATA estimates are that currently upwards of 1 million Americans are using remote cardiac monitors and the Veterans Health Administration has delivered over 300,000 remote consultations. The ATA also sites about half the Hospitals in the US using telemedicine or telehealth.
Another essential component of telemedicine is something called Mobile Health, which as its name suggest uses mobile/wireless cell phones, iPads, and other devices to deliver health services.
ATA believes it is “useful to think of Mobile Health as a tool or a medium to practice telemedicine. Mobile Health is a particularly powerful development because it delivers clinical care through consumer-grade hardware and allows for greater patient and provider mobility.”
The other critical aspect to all this technological development and the delivery healthcare is the relationship between telemedicine and health information technology. In other words, on the one hand, the generation and transmission of electronic health records and on the other side, the delivery of actual clinical services. These are complicated issues that we will try to sort out as they develop.
Our series on the current state of Telemedicine, future trends and developments continue with PWN contributor Linda M Rio as she shares her experiences with these new technologies’ abilities to adapt to the emotional and mental health needs of pituitary patients.
And immediately following we will hear from PWN cofounder Dr. Lewis Blevins as he focuses on ideas and experiences with telemedicine as they relate to his neuroendocrine practice. Stay tuned!
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