By Wayne Caswell
The rapid and accelerating pace of tech innovation has profound implications for healthcare delivery & payment, aging, and disability employment, but regulations that support that are spotty or nonexistent.
The good news
“Durable medical equipment” is a class of assistive technology that can be paid for by Medicare, Medicaid and many private insurance plans. Motorized wheel chairs most often fall into this category. Read the rest of this entry »
New market research on the convergence of telemedicine and mHealth suggests that “telemedicine now delivered on proprietary devices is becoming obsolete,” and I agree. I first wrote about the role of standards in telehealth two years ago in an article on Video Conferencing for Home Healthcare and have written several articles on the topic of standards since then, including The Smart Refrigerator & Smart Medical Device.
Earlier this week I weighed in on a LinkedIn discussion of Tablets used in Video Telemedicine. It morphed into a discussion of HIPPA, so the comment I added applies just as much to HIPPA regulations as to the use of standards in telehealth. Read the rest of this entry »
By Diana Henderson
Today’s senior citizens didn’t grow up with the internet, but many of them are making it an important part of their daily lives. According to the Pew Research Center, over half of all Americans over 65 use the internet regularly, and a third of them use social media. These users have come late to the party, and are rarely as savvy about internet theft as those who grew up using the technology. Educating seniors about the dangers lurking on the internet will go a long way toward saving their financial safety. Read the rest of this entry »
By Melody Wilding
Just as you’re hitting a stride, the phone rings. It’s Mom … and something is wrong. She fell this morning.
“Nothing serious,” she says, but the words shake you to your core. You’re frustrated, scared, and frantic inside. But there you are: stuck more than five hours away.
These types of occurrences are a daily reality for millions of long-distance caregivers across the United States. Read the rest of this entry »
As a member of the American Telehealth Association (Austin chapter), I too support the Telehealth Enhancement Act, however I see it as just a baby step and think much more is needed. Still, it’s a step in the right direction.
The proposed bill would modernize the Medicare program by allowing Medicare patients to be cared for remotely by a licensed healthcare provider from any state. That way, if you need medical help while on vacation, you could connect online or by phone with your own doctor back home without requiring that they be licensed in the state you traveled to. I urge Congress to adopt this bill and expand it beyond Medicare, to other federal agencies and health benefit programs.
Instead of searching for a doctor, calling for an appointment, taking time off work, and then driving to the doctor’s office, just connect online with video.
Healthcare just got a whole lot easier for consumers, thanks to American Well and a new telehealth service that connects people to physicians through their iPad, iPhone or Android device as well as any web browser.
The company’s technology manages physician availability and allows consumers to either choose a specific doctor or simply connect to the next available one. They can also review doctors’ professional profiles and see how other patients rate them.
Doctors accessed via American Well are currently available for live video consults 24 x 7 x 365 in 44 states and the District of Columbia. The $49 cost of a 10-minute video call can be paid via credit card, debit card or health savings account, and at that rate it costs less than a typical office visit, which averages $68 and can reach up to $120 Read the rest of this entry »
What is mHealth, and does the term stand for Mobile Health or Modern Health?
That’s the subject of a an online discussion started by David Doherty, moderator of a LinkedIn group interested in using mobile technologies to improve health. He started the discussion to support my view that any definition of mHealth that only includes smartphones is both limiting and arrogant. This article supports that discussion by expanding the definition of mHealth and what’s included.
Much of this article builds on an earlier article that I wrote in May 2012, where I addressed confusion among syllogisms, using the analogy that Lions & Tigers are both Animals, but not all Animals are Lions or Tigers. Likewise, there are some confusing overlaps among the terms mHealth, eHealth, Wireless Health, Telehealth, and Modern Health. And the devices that serve these market segments overlap too, so I must discuss them collectively.
|Lev Gonick discusses innovations using HD videoconferencing.|
Next Generation High Definition Video Conferencing Will Provide Immediate Public Benefits
Researchers expect it to revolutionize health care delivery and STEM education
By Marlene Cimons, National Science Foundation, January 31, 2013
The patient, who sees her neurologist regularly for “memory coaching” to counter the effects of short-term memory loss, never has to leave home for her appointments. The doctor, who is 40 minutes away, never has to leave his office. They “meet” by video.
“There is nothing she needs to do, as long as the system is on,” says Lev Gonick, vice president for information technology services and chief information officer at Case Western Reserve University. “She just needs to be in the right place at the right time.”
In some ways, it’s almost better than meeting in person, since this is not just any standard video system.
“Human actions could become more accurately predictable, thanks to neuroscience. Nano-sized robots will deliver cancer-fighting drugs directly to their targets. And though many recently lost jobs may never come back, people will find plenty to do (and get paid for) in the future,” according to forecasts you’ll find in this roundup of the most thought-provoking possibilities and ideas published in The Futurist magazine over the past year.
I’ve extracted the following Health & Medicine forecasts from the World Future Society’s special report, Outlook 2013. It’s a promotional piece to attract new members who then get a subscription to The Futurist.
- Better health, but fewer doctors.
A projected shortage of more than 90,000 doctors by 2020 will drive technological innovations such as low-cost, point-of-care diagnostics—i.e., Lab-on-a-Chip technologies. A cell-phone-sized device could analyze your blood or sputum while you talk to a health provider from the comfort of your home. —Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler, “The Abundance Builders,” July-Aug 2012,p. 17
Read the rest of this entry »