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Telemedicine

Telemedicine has a big role in the coronavirus fight, but doctors say the laws remain murky

March 18, 2020

Telemedicine has a big role in the coronavirus fight, but doctors say the laws remain murky

As part of its effort to extend health services to seniors, the Trump administration announced a major expansion of telemedicine options, allowing Americans enrolled in Medicare to talk to a doctor by phone or video chat for no additional cost. 

States including Massachusetts and Florida have also expanded telehealth coverage amid the COVID-19 crisis to make it easier for doctors and patients to connect online and to ensure that physicians get paid. Washington is among states moving to let doctors volunteer to treat patients even if they’re not licensed in the state as long as they can legally practice elsewhere.

More than 260 doctors have already volunteered, though it will take time for them to be vetted, said Stephanie Mason of the Washington State Medical Commission. Getting licensed in other states can still take months and cost tens of thousands of dollars.

The coronavirus, which as of Wednesday has infected more than 6,400 people in the United States, killing at least 114, is threatening to overwhelm the U.S. health system in the coming weeks, creating a need for increased use of remote health services. But a patchwork of state-by-state regulations and a lack of clarity about what’s allowed is causing telemedicine providers to move cautiously. Health plans, meanwhile, aren’t moving as quickly as the federal government to reimburse doctors. 

The full CNBC article can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna

What America can learn from China’s use of robots and telemedicine to combat the coronavirus

March 18, 2020

What America can learn from China’s use of robots and telemedicine to combat the coronavirus

After a passenger infected with the novel coronavirus boarded the Diamond Princess cruise ship in January, the virus quickly spread, eventually infecting at least 712 and killing seven. Critics labeled the ship quarantined in Yokohama a floating petri dish, and at least one Japanese expert attributed the explosion of cases to food trays passed out by infected crew. Could robots have made a difference?

As countries around the world grapple with COVID-19, front line medical workers are deploying robots, telemedicine and other technologies to help contain the pandemic. China and Spain have used drones to monitor people during lockdown campaigns, while South Korea has deployed them to help disinfect areas in Daegu, an epidemic hotspot. Antwork, a group company of Japanese industrial drone maker Terra Drone, flew medical samples and quarantine materials in China’s Xinchang in February during the height of the epidemic.

Earlier this month, a field hospital staffed by robots opened in the Hongshan Sports Center in Wuhan, China, where the pandemic began. Dubbed the Smart Field Hospital, the facility is a project involving Wuhan Wuchang Hospital, China Mobile and CloudMinds, a maker of cloud robotics systems based in China and the U.S. The Smart Field Hospital is a trial aimed at relieving exhausted health-care workers even as the outbreak in China slowed in recent weeks.

The full CNBC article can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna

Worried About Coronavirus? Now You Can Text Message A Chatbot With Questions

March 12, 2020

Worried About Coronavirus? Now You Can Text Message A Chatbot With Questions

First, wash your hands. Then, pick up the phone. 

Two telemedicine startups are working together on a program that allows worried patients to text their concerns about the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, to a chatbot that can link them to remote doctors. The goal is to help them avoid waiting in crowded clinics that may increase the risk of infection for them and for healthcare providers. 

The full Forbes article can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna

Coronavirus Outbreak Solution – World first from Orion Health

March 11, 2020

BOSTON, March 10, 2020 - Orion Health has developed the first comprehensive pandemic outbreak monitoring platform to alleviate demand on health systems and reduce the risk of further spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Orion Health software that supports this will be offered at no cost to existing and future customers.

As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases grow globally, especially in those countries currently in the community outbreak phase of the disease, there will be a need for more people to receive support at home. Read the full press release at the link below. 

Coronavirus could be a boon for telemedicine, as health industry hopes to keep ‘worried well’ out of the hospital

March 06, 2020

Coronavirus could be a boon for telemedicine, as health industry hopes to keep ‘worried well’ out of the hospital

As the COVID-19 cases continue to spread across the U.S., hospitals and insurance companies are expecting a swell in visitors to clinics and emergency rooms.

But the crisis could provide a bright spot for one sector of the health industry that has struggled to gain widespread acceptance: Telemedicine.

Virtual services, like online symptom-checking tools and remote consults with doctors, could keep the so-called “worried well” from flooding hospitals. If the healthiest people don’t show up in emergency rooms, that could mean that more resources are available to treat the sickest and most vulnerable patients. 

The full CNBC article can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna

Telehealth Beyond The Hospital

March 06, 2020

Telehealth Beyond The Hospital

The industry of telehealth is expanding for many reasons, including increased access to technology, a demand for more affordable health services and the desire for convenient care. Research findings projected a compound annual growth rate between 2014 and 2020 of 18.4% for telehealth services.

Telehealth can reduce initial hospital admissions, readmissions, length of stay and mortality rates. By expanding telehealth services to the outpatient industry, emergency department visits are reduced, patient engagement and health management are encouraged, and the overall cost of chronic disease management is lowered.

The full Forbes article can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna

'Fixing health care' is a disservice to society

March 03, 2020

'Fixing health care' is a disservice to society

We all know — and the presidential candidates keep reminding us at every debate and in the run-up to Super Tuesday — that our health care system is struggling to provide Americans with affordable care. While we broadly agree that health care needs to be fixed, the conversation on “how” is headed down the wrong path. Instead of looking for solutions to patch up the current system, we should think anew for higher efficiencies, lower costs and, most importantly, better outcomes.  

We should start by asking how we use existing and emerging technologies to invent a preventive, proactive, predictive, and personalized self-care system that delivers tenfold cost-effectiveness enhancements. How do we seize the new economics of a tech-enabled national health care system? Many of the tools needed to affect this transformation are now available; others are rapidly evolving. Health care policymakers need to focus on cultivating and rapidly incorporating a new tech-enabled paradigm of health management while phasing out the old.  

The full opinion piece from The Hill can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna

Robotic medicine may be the weapon the world needs to combat the coronavirus

February 28, 2020

Robotic medicine may be the weapon the world needs to combat the coronavirus

With top government health officials warning it is only a matter of time before there is a COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., it’s not likely that specialized masks and respirators, or canned goods and Clorox, will be sufficient to fight a global pandemic. Viral outbreaks like COVID-19 highlight the growing role new medical technology — in particular, ideas from the field of robotics — can play in fighting the spread of novel infectious diseases. But medical experts say it will be a mistake if innovation rolls out only when the world is on edge.

The full CNBC article can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna

How telehealth is the Netflix of medicine—and why it matters

February 26, 2020

How telehealth is the Netflix of medicine—and why it matters

Telehealth has existed since the 1950s, but it feels as though the term really burst onto the health care innovation scene within the past five years. With the booming app economy, which analytics firm App Annie has predicted will eclipse $6.3 trillion by 2021, users have integrated their devices into everyday tasks, including visits to the doctor.

Yet no single telehealth app or provider has emerged as leader of the pack in the same way that Instagram, for instance, dominates the photo- and video-sharing social media game. Telehealth remains a highly competitive landscape. Beyond user-friendliness and affordability—the hallmarks of a successful app—our experience at Privia shows that a standout telehealth service should fulfill the following criteria. 

The full AMA article can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna

Can AI flag disease outbreaks faster than humans? Not quite

February 23, 2020

Can AI flag disease outbreaks faster than humans? Not quite

Did an artificial-intelligence system beat human doctors in warning the world of a severe outbreak of COVID-19 in China?

In a narrow sense, yes. But what the humans lacked in sheer speed, they more than made up in finesse.

Early warnings of disease outbreaks can help people and governments save lives. In the final days of 2019, an AI system in Boston sent out the first global alert about a new viral outbreak in China. But it took human intelligence to recognize the significance of the outbreak and then awaken response from the public health community.

What’s more, the mere mortals produced a similar alert only a half-hour behind the AI systems.

For now, AI-powered disease-alert systems can still resemble car alarms — easily triggered and sometimes ignored. A network of medical experts and sleuths must still do the hard work of sifting through rumors to piece together the fuller picture. It’s difficult to say what future AI systems, powered by ever larger datasets on outbreaks, may be able to accomplish.

The full AP News article can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna