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 »
|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.
“Real doctors. Real medicine. Really convenient.”
HealthSpot Station was prominently featured in the central lobby just as you entered the Las Vegas Convention Center during CES 2013, an honor that only the most interesting companies get.
Doctors and patients meet face-to-face like they always have, only in this case, the face-to-face is virtual: the doctor is in his home or office; the patient is seated in the kiosk; and the kiosk is located in a retail store. The HealthSpot Station kiosk allows board-certified doctors to conduct remote diagnosis and treatment using high-def videoconferencing and digital medical devices that appear behind locked doors when needed.
Opportunity is knocking for telehealth to become a common method of practicing medicine in the U.S.
One-on-one Web-based video chats and other electronic consultation between doctors and patients isn’t new — it’s been used throughout the U.S. in varying degrees for a few years now. But health-care reform, a ballooning and aging population and a shortage of available family physicians may be a perfect storm that could blow the doors open for telehealth to go mainstream.
As states’ health insurance exchanges — online marketplaces where citizens can compare and purchase insurance plans — begin to debut in advance of the 2014 deadline set forth by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), access to health-care providers should expand for many Americans. Obtaining insurance coverage soon may be easier, but the gap between the number of incoming patients and available primary care doctors is widening.
By Brendan Gramer, in Wired Magazine
When I learned that Apple would finally be enabling the iPhone’s FaceTime app to work over mobile connections, I was ecstatic. As someone who is deaf, I could now use this one-touch, always-on video chat app to communicate with friends and family in my natural language: American Sign Language (ASL).
But then I found out that AT&T will block mobile FaceTime unless customers sign up for an expensive unlimited voice plan. I wasn’t thrilled with the thought of having to pay this AT&T “deaf tax” just to use the mobile data I’m already paying for.
It’s disappointing that AT&T is standing in the way of innovation that addresses the needs of its deaf and hard-of-hearing customers. Sometimes it takes a while (and some prodding) for technology and technology companies to catch up to and embrace accessibility. In this case the technology is there, but it’s AT&T that’s throwing up the barrier.