Posts

woman using telemedicine follow-up app

Telemedicine Follow-Up Visits May Work Well for Ambulatory Surgeries

Soon, women recovering from breast reconstruction surgery may be able to follow up with physicians on their smartphones rather than traveling to the clinic. A recent study in JAMA Surgery found that using a telemedicine follow-up mobile app with a questionnaire and patient-provided photos resulted in less office visits and more satisfied and engaged patients with no significant difference in complication rates when compared to patients with in-office visits. Read more

Hospital Emergency entrance sign

Telepsychiatry Extends Services Across Maine ERs

In recent years, increasing percentages of emergency department visits have required a psychiatric consult, but the number of psychiatric beds in emergency rooms has dropped. Amidst such a shortage, patients often end up with longer ER stays or are released without being treated. In Maine, St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center added emergency telepsychiatry services to their renovated ED in 2010; this allows them to link patients with a mental health professional around the clock. Read more

Dr in ICU

Tele-ICU May Improve Outcomes Both During and After ICU Stays

Thanks to telemedicine, ICU patients may soon have more timely access to specialists and more specialty care after discharge from the ICU environment. At Hawaii’s North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH), patients who need critical care are enjoying the benefits of the tele-ICU system that allows patients to receive state-of-the-art care without the treatment delays caused by inter-island transfers to the main facility on Oahu. Meanwhile, at Indiana University, researchers are currently conducting trials for elderly patients who experienced delirium during their ICU visits to determine whether training and exercises delivered via telemedicine can improve the patients’ quality of life. Read more

HIPAA-compliant file folder

Keeping Telemedicine HIPAA-Compliant

Two rising trends are on a collision course: telemedicine and healthcare data breaches. As increasing numbers of healthcare organizations implement or expand telemedicine programs, and as more patients rely on text messages, email, or video to communicate with providers, personal health information (PHI) is at more risk than ever before. Now considered worth 10 times more than credit card information, as reported by Reuters, PHI is an attractive target for unscrupulous hackers. Thus, it is imperative that healthcare organizations and vendors prioritize security and compliance measures and keep telemedicine HIPAA-compliant. Read more

tornado aftermath

Sci-Fi No More: Telemedicine Drones Are a Reality

Thanks to telemedicine, medical drones are one giant step closer to reality. A research team in Mississippi has created three prototypes of a medical drone that can fly to the site of a natural or man-made disaster while carrying audiovisual equipment and medical supplies. Once the telemedicine drone arrives, a remote doctor can see the patient’s condition through the webcam and provide first aid directions. Read more

high blood glucose reading

Telemedicine Diabetes Program Improves Outcomes

Among adults with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes, a telemedicine diabetes regimen leads to better outcomes than routine care: greater reductions in body weight, HbA1c, and number of antidiabetes medications. As described in Diabetes Care, the interventional study was conducted in Germany against a backdrop of rising rates of type 2 diabetes and growing costs of antidiabetes medicines. Read more

human hands breaking up cigarette

Tele-Nicotine Can Help Patients Give Up Smoking

A recent pilot study found that telemedicine is effective at helping patients reduce or give up smoking. Dubbed “tele-nicotine”, the initiative at UT Southwestern’s Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center focused on smokers in a homeless shelter. Over the course of the program, one quarter of the participants reported that they had stopped smoking entirely, and another 25 percent significantly reduced their nicotine usage. Read more

Regulation rubber stamp in front of laptop computer

Texas Poised to Ease Telemedicine Regulations

After six years of highly restrictive telemedicine regulations, it appears that Texas will soon allow the expansion of the industry. Senate Bill 1107 is designed to ease the delivery of care using telemedicine; after being passed in Texas House of Representatives this month, it was sent to Governor Greg Abbott for his signature. It is anticipated that his approval is forthcoming. Read more