11 Telemedicine Tools Transforming Healthcare - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile

11 Telemedicine Tools Transforming Healthcare

We haven't figured out how to teleport patients into medical offices. But telemedicine technologies link patients and clinicians in ways Ray Bradbury would admire.
Previous
1 of 12
Next


What's fueling the healthcare industry's interest in telemedicine? Better mobile technologies and more mature electronic health records (EHRs) and clinical decision support (CDS) systems lead the list. Also, as the baby boomer generation ages, medical expert shortages arise in many specialties.

This interest in telemedicine, which Jonathan Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association, defines as "the delivery of any healthcare service or transmission of wellness information using telecommunications technology," has the potential to transform the way medical care is provided in many areas of the country. The term "telehealth," on the other hand, is often used interchangeably with telemedicine, but doesn't necessarily involve clinical services. It can include patient education or mobile health apps that engage patients in their care, for instance.

Telemedicine isn't a separate medical specialty, but can be deployed by a variety of medical providers and specialties. For instance, dermatology and radiology are medical specialties that tap into telemedicine technologies, including digital imaging and high-bandwidth communication, to remotely view patient medical images--such as photos of skin lesions or CT scans--for diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

Telemed technology can also be used to monitor patients with chronic conditions, enhance nursing call centers, and provide remote consultations for patients in rural areas or off-hours.

While Medicare has been slower to change reimbursement policies to accommodate telemedicine care, private insurers and state Medicaid payers have been more progressive in covering many services, and that's pushing more doctors and hospitals to provide them, said Linkous in an interview with InformationWeek Healthcare.

When it comes to monitoring patients with chronic conditions, mobile and home-based devices that connect via the Web to clinicians increase the likelihood that patients experiencing problems will be spotted early. Clinical systems that remotely collect patient readings can generate alerts to physicians or nurse case managers indicating that prompt intervention is needed to prevent complications or a serious emergency situation from developing. These could range from a diabetic patient with irregular glucose readings or sudden weight gain in a heart failure patient, for example.

The National Institute of Health reports that 25.8 million Americans--more than 8% of the U.S. population--have diabetes. So, telehealth applications, such as the one being planned by diabetes care leader Joslin Diabetes Center and telemedicine tech provider American Well, have a large potential audience of patients who may become users.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 12
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Commentary
Why IT Leaders Should Make Cloud Training a Top Priority
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  4/14/2021
Slideshows
10 Things Your Artificial Intelligence Initiative Needs to Succeed
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/20/2021
Commentary
Lessons I've Learned From My Career in Technology
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  5/4/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll