The growth in business cases for new models of healthcare delivery and integration of digital health technology is reaching the point of convergence — creating powerful synergies where there was once only data silos and skepticism.
We have not quite achieved this synergy yet, but opportunities emerging in 2015 will move the industry much closer to the long-awaited initiatives in connected, value-based care.
Individuals are constantly hyper-connected to a variety of technology networks and devices. Wearables will continue to enter the market, but their features and focus will go well beyond fitness. Even the devices entering the market now are more sophisticated than ever before. Some are now equipped with tools like muscle activity tracking, EEG, breath monitoring, and UV light measurement.
It will be fascinating to watch how consumer electronics, wearables, and clinical devices continue to merge and take new forms. Some particularly interesting examples will be in the categories of digital tattoos, implantable devices, and smart lenses.
As the adoption of wearables continues to grow, we will continue to see more value placed on accessing digital health data by healthcare and wellness organizations. This will be especially important as healthcare shifts towards value-based models of care. The need to gain access to the actionable data on connected devices will only grow as innovation creates more complex technologies in the market.
This is the year the promise of telehealth will be realized. It is projected that by 2018, 65 percent of interactions with health organizations will take place via mobile devices. Those statistics speak to the need of satisfying the growing demands being placed on providers, along with the growing discernment among patients when it comes to selecting affordable and convenient medical services. The continued adoption of telehealth will extend the point of care for providers and provide ubiquitous access to medical professionals for patients.
A number of entities are already putting this into practice: Walgreens, in partnership with MDLIVE, recently expanded their mobile platform to offer virtual doctors visits for acutely-ill patients; Google is testing a HIPAA-compliant medicine platform for video chats with doctors; and, digital urgent care solutions, like Doctor on Demand, are growing in popularity due to their convenience and low cost.
Telemedicine will not only extend the point of care, but will also be critical in better combatting chronic disease. Managing chronic health conditions will become the focus of many healthcare providers, as models of reimbursement and population health management (PHM) continue to replace fee-for-service models. One issue with chronic disease management is that it is difficult to monitor at-risk patients outside of the hospital. This is where telemedicine comes in.
Prescribed devices and applications to better handle chronic conditions will increase in pervasiveness. This idea of prescribing mobile health to better manage disease states translates to a host of chronic conditions – obesity, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancer.
For example, our client UCSF uses devices like step trackers, sleep trackers, scales and blood pressure monitors to track patients at-risk for heart disease or cardiac readmissions. Another client, UNC is creating a Gastro-Intestinal tracking application (GI Buddy) that leverages fitness devices and scales to monitor Chron’s disease. There are thousands of studies pioneering innovations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare. And, they are making serious strides.
The automatic transmission of pertinent patient data from these mobile health technologies is propelling forward capabilities for cost-effective, efficient and successful remote patient monitoring, population management and patient engagement programs.
However, as telehealth and telemedicine capabilities continue to develop, the major hurdle for most providers is integrating and the mobile health data collected outside of the hospital back into the clinical story for use in the provision of care. In a value-based healthcare system, the key to better outcomes lies in data, and specifically, obtaining access to data generated outside of the provider setting.
Platform services will continue to be vital partnerships as healthcare systems are expected to quickly execute on all these initiatives simultaneously and successfully. Bottom line: The industry is transforming, and if you have not started talking about how to connect to those external data sources, then you need to start.
These emerging trends will continue to bind the landscapes of technology, healthcare, and business. The road set upon long ago by medical professionals and legislators is finally coming to fruition. The walls of interoperability are beginning to come down, investments are growing, partnerships are forming, and consumers are starting to take notice. We are moving towards a digital health revolution. We have the opportunity, the responsibility, and the honor, to align healthcare and technology innovation to exponentially improve our care system. It is a tall task, but we are off to a promising start.
By the year 2020, the patient monitoring market in the U.S. is expected to grow by about $5 billion--mostly because of the expansion of telemedicine use, according to a reportby iData Research.
The report also looks at the impact vital sign monitors, fetal and neonatal monitors, cardiac output monitoring devices and blood pressure monitors will have on the market, among others. In addition, the telehealth market in the U.S. is projected to grow in double digits in the next five years, according to an announcement on the report, with telehealth for disease conditions management set to make up more than half of that market.
Public and private organizations will also help telemedicine grow as they budget more funds for the technology in the ensuing years, according to the announcement.
Other factors moving telemedicine forward are changes in reimbursement and healthcare policies, which will increase physician confidence in spending money on the technology. according to the iData report.
A population healthcare model in Mississippi that leverages telehealth technology to help curb diabetes has achieved early success and caught the attention of state officials who are part of the public-private partnership.
The goal of the Next Generation Telemedicine Webinars is to foster higher acceptance among health care providers through presentations from practitioners who have proven that telemedicine is useful by successfully integrating clinical telemedicine services into their practices.
Each presentation will include the personal experience and pathway taken to telemedicine adoption as well as the hurdles and challenges associated with implementation. Patient cases and outcomes will be presented along with lessons learned along the way. Presenters will include both rural and urban providers of telehealth services.
72% of consumers across the eight countries are willing to see a doctor via telehealth video conferencing for non-urgent appointments, according to Intel survey.
The study, “Intel Healthcare Innovation Barometer” was conducted across eight countries by Penn Schoen Berland in Brazil, China, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan and the United States from July 28 to Aug. 15, 2013 among a representative sample of 12,000 adults ages 18 and older.
The findings concludes that most people are optimistic about technology innovations advancing healthcare, are open to sharing healthcare information for the greater good and receptive to using sensors for personalized care. As the technology of remote patient monitoring solutions and mobile health applications improve, consumers now have the ability to connect with their providers in a variety of ways to embrace new behaviors
Other key findings of the Intel Healthcare Innovation Barometer include:
Improving Personal Care and Self-Monitoring with Technology
Sixty-six percent of people say they would prefer a personalized healthcare regimen designed specifically for them based on their genetic profile or biology.Fifty-three percent of people say they would trust a test they personally administered as much or more than if performed by a doctor.
Sharing Anonymous Digital Health Records for the Common Good
People are more willing to anonymously share their health records or genetic information than their banking information or phone records.More than three-quarters (76 percent) of respondents over the age of 55 would be willing to anonymously share results of lab tests or health monitoring to contribute to research databases compared with 64 percent of millennials.India is the country most willing to share healthcare information to aid innovation.
Emerging Technology Tools for Increased In-Home Health Management
Half of those surveyed would trust a diagnosis delivered via video conference from their doctor.Seventy-two percent are receptive to communication technologies that allow them to remotely connect to their doctor.The innovation least likely to be incorporated by the global population is a robot performing surgery.Almost half of respondents (43 percent) globally would trust themselves to monitor their own blood pressure and other basic vitals.
A clear majority of both patients with chronic diseases and the health professionals who treat them are in favour of the remote monitoring of patients’ conditions, according to the first ever study in Spain of the practice conducted by the IESE...
We expect to see traditional health insurance companies get more involved in the delivery of healthcare," explains Sukanya Soderland, a partner in Oliver Wyman's Health & Life Sciences practice group and a member of the center. "And some of the newer models of healthcare delivery such as accountable care organizations force doctors and hospitals to take on part of the financial risk of caring for patients, moving them closer to the role of insurer.
Four years ago, I began developing and piloting a system based on the simple concept of using mobile smartphones to facilitate telemedicine in developing
I designed the system to address three main issues of healthcare:
Lack of access: Many people can’t get to doctors due to their sickness, long waiting lists to get a scheduled appointment, or transportation difficultiesLack of ability to pay: Many people can’t afford to see a doctorLack of doctors: For many people, there are no doctors nearby
Why can Coca-Cola get to rural communities and essential health supplies can't? Join our online debate on how to address global health supply chain challenges, Thursday 18 July at 1pm BST
Finally, is there a role for technology? If mobile phones are giving farmers access to markets, how can they be used to increase access to healthcare? Unite for Sight lists "decentralising delivery" as one of the "techniques for effective supply chains". The NGO writes: "Of the 1 billion people living in extreme poverty, 75% do not live in cities. The decentralisation of healthcare away from traditional healthcare hubs can improve delivery and improve access by eliminating barriers of time and transportation often required to seek care ... One particular example has been the development of telemedicine."
Can cellphones save lives? Marking a significant shift, Indian healthcare providers are now looking at extending medical services through mobile telephony.
Last week saw the launch of a 46-member strong conglomeration of hospitals, health insurers, medical service providers under the aegis of NatHealth or the Health Federation of India which among other things plans to provide access to standardized healthcare at reasonable cost.
There is no doubt that the practice of medicine has changed in many ways over the years. Local physician practices that used to serve those within their community, now own or work for medical entities offering services across state lines and physicians practice in multiple states, both via telemedicine and in person.
Legislation in this country has largely not kept up with the times, but it is expected that we will soon see many legal changes to catch up with the increasingly national practice of medicine.
One of the major hurdles that has delayed the growth of telemedicine and the expansion of healthcare providers is the control of every state over licensure of physicians within their own borders. This means that physicians must be licensed in every state in which they desire to practice medicine.
Although there are some general exceptions among certain states that allow reciprocity (and many states allow for second opinions and special consultations), most states consider a physician to be practicing medicine without a license if he provides services to an in-state patient without a license (whether via telemedicine or in the state where the patient is located).
For example, if a patient is in Illinois and obtains a diagnosis and prescribed treatment from a physician licensed only in California, then absent an applicable exception, that physician has practiced medicine in Illinois without a license. The same would be true if the physician came to Illinois to see the patient in person.
In the fall of 2014, the Federation of State Medical Boards finally came out with the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which is intended to streamline the process of physicians obtaining licenses outside their own state. With this legislation, more states will join in the effort to allow physicians to engage in medicine freely across borders.
Under the proposed legislation, a physician would generally follow these steps to gain licensure in multiple states:
1. The physician files an application with the state in which she is are primarily located. This is known as the “Principle Board.” This does not have to be, but would generally be the board in the physician’s state of residence.
2. The Principle Board would then decide whether to recommend that the physician be issued an expedited license with another state. This recommendation would be made to the “Interstate Commission.” This is the body that has been charged with administering the Compact.
3. Once a physician is recommended to the Interstate Commission, that physician would then complete a registration process and pay the applicable fees to practice in each state for which he is applying. The normal license fees would still apply for every state in which the application is being made.
4. Each of the “State Member Boards” will share information related to any complaints and actions concerning a physician’s professional performance in another state. Although states already share in this manner, information will likely be shared more quickly under the compact. Similarly, future actions taken against a physician in one state will cause similar action to be taken by the other states, most likely in a more expedited manner.
5. Physicians will still need to comply with the medical practice requirements of every state in which they obtain a license. In no way does the Compact alter a state’s jurisdiction over medicine in any state.
The compact makes a lot of sense for licensees who know how cumbersome the process is to apply for multiple licenses. Through the compact, a single set of verified documents will be shared with multiple states, rather than repeating the same process multiple times. This saves time and money and opens up new market for physicians (and companies) who were deterred by the licensure process. The compact will hopefully also speed up the growth of telemedicine and mhealth throughout the country.
While there are many details still to be worked out about how the compact will work, it does seem to be a step in the right direction in keeping up with the current state of medicine.
Following the launch of the first-of-its-kind partnership between group prenatal care and maternal-fetal telemedicine, the percentage of pre-term deliveries and low birth-weight babies continues to be well below baseline rates in target populations.
The expertise of Children's pediatric specialists is now available to patients and healthcare providers through telemedicine. An easy-to-use service, telemedicine offers patients and providers remote consultations, evaluations and training using live video. - Children
A new study shows that a neurologist in an office thousands of miles away can deliver effective specialized care to people with Parkinson’s disease. For individuals with the condition – many of whom have never seen a specialist – these “virtual house calls” could allow them to live independently...........................
“We have an ample supply of neurologists in the country to take care of people with Parkinson’s, but because of distance, disability, and the distribution of doctors, many patients have a difficult time seeing a specialist,” said Dorsey.
Working with PatientsLikeMe, the study invited individuals with Parkinson’s who lived in the five states where Dorsey is licensed to practice medicine – California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, and New York – to receive one free telemedicine consultation in the comfort of their own home.
The participants downloaded secure web-based video conferencing software developed by California-basedVidyo. The technology, which is akin to Skype, only requires an Internet connected computer and a webcam.
Telemedicine – The Next Healthcare Solution healthPERX Offers Convenience & Savings - on PR.com
“Telemedicine, also called telehealth, should be part of every company’s cost containment strategy,” said Marks. “Companies have saved tens of thousands of dollars using the service with reduced time out, more productive employees and a healthier workplace overall. Furthermore, employees have saved thousands of dollars from their own out-of-pocket expenses.”
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