Ever wish you could wave a magic wand and reduce healthcare expenses ? You don’t need to, TeleHealth / TeleMedicine technology is already working to do just that ! (I wonder if Congress reads our blog…)
Software video collaboration, video conferencing and web conferencing technology are being used to improve the efficiency of medical education and service delivery…TODAY.
- Medical residents attend classes via web conference so they can spend more time in the hospital and be available for patient emergencies (they also don’t waste time driving to and from classes when they could be sleeping!)
- Rural hospital nurses attend continuing medical education classes remotely, so they can keep their skills sharp without leaving their hospital understaffed while they travel to the “big city” to attend a seminar
- Neurologists diagnose potential stroke patients remotely, allowing ERs to administer life-saving drugs sooner
- Patient follow-up visits in many specialties can be made without the patient needing to travel to the doctor’s office (especially in rural areas this can be a long trip), leading to more consistent follow-up and better outcomes
These are just a few of the applications we have seen, but there are many more being used in the real world, today.
The American Telemedicine Association (http://www.americantelemed.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1) has been working for 17 years to develop common understandings, procedures, and explore new ways to make medical care as easy to reach as turning on your PC.
Telemedicine technology was recently featured in the New York Times:
Have you experienced TeleMedicine in action ? What did you think ?