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Virtual Care

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

How Technology, Medicine And At-Home Devices Can Improve Healthcare Access And Cost

February 15, 2020

How Technology, Medicine And At-Home Devices Can Improve Healthcare Access And Cost

Healthcare is changing. After years of stagnation and inadequate innovations, the call for care that is higher quality and more accessible and that costs less is beginning to be answered. We're starting to see incremental progress toward meaningful healthcare technology and reimagined delivery models. New developments in digital medicine, DIY care and AI are emerging, with the potential to advance the industry in ways that previous attempts have failed.

Despite signs of progress, doctor's office wait times continue to rise. Middle- and low-income patients are in critical need of more affordable primary and specialty care. Across the country, critical access and other rural hospitals are closing at an alarming rate, leaving people in those areas struggling to find the time, transportation and money needed to see a physician. Primary care visits are declining, while our overall population health continues to lag behind most developed countries.

These issues are the impetus for momentum in digital medicine and direct-to-consumer healthcare. Consumers today expect more from all of the services they use, and healthcare is no exception. New, niche providers and technology focused on patient experience are setting a new standard for healthcare delivery. Some solutions—those that offer unprecedented convenience alongside real medical expertise—have the potential to improve outcomes.

The full Forbes article can be viewed at this link.  

Name: 
Anna

Tele-transitions of care (TTOC): a 12-month, randomized controlled trial evaluating the use of Telehealth to achieve triple aim objectives

February 12, 2020

Tele-transitions of care (TTOC): a 12-month, randomized controlled trial evaluating the use of Telehealth to achieve triple aim objectives

Poor transitions of care leads to increased health costs, over-utilization of emergency room departments, increased re-hospitalizations and causes poor patient experiences and outcomes. This study evaluated Telehealth feasibility in improving transitions of care.

This is a 12-month randomized controlled trial, evaluating the use of telehealth (remote patient monitoring and video visits) versus standard transitions of care with the primary outcomes of hospital readmission and emergency department utilization and secondary outcomes of access to care, medication management and adherence and patient engagement. Electronic Medical Record data, Health Information Exchange data and phone survey data was collected. Multi-variable logistic regression models were created to evaluate the effect of Telehealth on hospital readmission, emergency department utilization, medication adherence. Chi-square tests or Fisher’s exact tests were used to compare the percentages of categorical variables between the Telehealth and control groups. T tests or Wilcoxon rank sum tests were used to compared means and medians between the two randomized groups.

The study conducted between June 2017 and 2018, included 102 patients. Compared with the standard of care, Telehealth patients were more likely to have medicine reconciliation (p = 0.013) and were 7 times more likely to adhere to medication than the control group (p = 0.03). Telehealth patients exhibited enthusiasm (p = 0.0001), and confidence that Telehealth could improve their healthcare (p = 0.0001). Telehealth showed no statistical significance on emergency department utilization (p = 0.691) nor for readmissions (p = 0.31). 100% of Telehealth patients found the intervention to be valuable, 98% if given the opportunity, reported they would continue using telehealth to manage their healthcare needs, and 94% reported that the remote patient monitoring technology was useful.

Telehealth can improve transitions of care after hospital discharge improving patient engagement and adherence to medications. Although this study was unable to show the effect of Telehealth on reduced healthcare utilization, more research needs to be done in order to understand the true impact of Telehealth on preventing avoidable hospital readmission and emergency department visits.

The full article can be downloaded below.  

Name: 
Anna