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Steven R. Gerst: The Growing Impact of Telemedicine on the Delivery of Healthcare.(June 22, 2015) Newswire.com)
Telemedicine is taking hold of the healthcare industry. ¯¯Funded by large health insurers such as United Healthcare, Anthem, large integrated healthcare delivery systems, pharmaceutical companies and large self¯¯¯insured employers, telemedicine cost effectively leveraging medical telecommunication system information technologies from the home and physician¯¯¯s office to the hospital providing unprecedented access to physicians and healthcare services. By eliminating distance barriers through telehealth and telemedicine solutions, access to medical services is improving dramatically, reaching more and more Americans daily, revolutionizing the industry.
Dr.¯¯Gerst¯¯will be speaking about Telemedicine¯¯anf¯¯healthcare¯¯consmerism¯¯at the¯¯IHC¯¯Forum and Expo, taking place in Atlanta Georgia at the Cobb Galleria Center, June 23rd ¯¯¯ 25th, 2015.¯¯
As medical professionals work to educate their patients and consumers to utilize these services, broad consumer adoption will occur. Once consumers gain awareness of the ability to speak with a healthcare professional over the Internet, transmitting health screening data such as temperature, heart rate, EKG, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, respiratory rate, weight, glucose levels and pictures of the throat, tympanic membrane, wounds, and dermatologic variations to start, virtual visits using this pre-transmitted data will greatly increase the efficiency of the healthcare system and reduce overall cost. 59% of those surveyed recently stated they looked forward to trying a telehealth service.¯¯ Primary elements that attract consumers to telemedicine are:
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ Access to medical care without having to travel to a health care facility.
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ Easy access to medical assistance 24/7.
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ Save time otherwise spent during doctor¯¯¯s visits for the management of minor ailments such as allergies and colds.
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ Save money by not having to pay for a visit to the doctor, emergency room, or urgent care clinic.
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ Avoid exposure to other patients¯¯¯ illnesses while waiting to be seen at a doctor¯¯¯s office.
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ Access to medical care when unable to take time off from work.
A 2011 study performed by the Center for Disease Control revealed that 80% of adults who visited the Emergency Room for noncritical treatment were there for primary care services.¯¯ The cost differential is astounding: the average visit to the ER is between $1,500 and $3,000, compared to $130 to $150 for a regular doctor visit. However, a typical telehealth visit costs only $49, or a $20 co-pay if covered by some managed care plans.
Steven R. Gerst: The surge in Telemedicine is the result of new technological advancements, as well as a call for the return of some old fashioned services.
Ease of patient access, convenience, and affordability will drive adoption of telemedicine. New start-ups that connect healthcare professionals to patients are arriving by way of the mobile app. One notable mention is the Pager app, which enables users to summon a healthcare professional right to their doorstep ¯¯¯ literally a modern day house call. Described by the company¯¯¯s general manager as ¯¯¯healthcare in your pocket,¯¯¯ Pager already has plans of expanding nationwide.¯¯
Other apps like Doctor on Demand, TelaDoc, Amwell (United Healthcare and Anthem), and MDLive (Walgreens) connect patients and their families to a physician through a smartphone, computer and/or iPad. House call apps are just the latest to come on the scene as part of the telemedicine explosion. Validic, just recognized by global health research leader Frost & Sullivan as one of the Top Ten companies disrupting healthcare with their industry leading digital health platform enables quick and easy mobile health and clinical data access to its broad range of clients across all segments of healthcare wellness programs. ¯¯
Previously awarded by Frost & Sullivan as the Best Value in Healthcare Information Interoperability, the Validic¯¯¯s platform for 2015 was evaluated against 9 areas in healthcare. Frost & Sullivan analysts expect this platform to experience the most transformation including patient engagement, care coordination, chronic disease management, interoperability, and more - all key features and benefits of consumer-facing telehealth. ¯¯Combined with hospitals/provider-based telemedicine platforms, these systems can be designed to integrate data from fitness, clinical and other sources into one standardized and HIPAA-compliant platform for action incorporating the best in-class mobile health devices and applications. ¯¯¯¯
Steven R. Gerst: Telehealth Services can provide patients with an immediate response, which means more control over your own health, and greater peace of mind.
Many telehealth services provide live video consultations with board certified doctors, 24 hours a day. It¯¯¯s a remarkable alternative to going to an urgent care center, or spending hours in the ER. It allows you, or your child to remain at home resting, while healthcare comes to you, via your doorstep or live video.
In addition, telehealth services can also be used as a marketing tool for physicians in private practice or medical facilities, as a way to provide continuity of care to patients, and to expand their patient networks beyond their locality. A company called CloudVisit provides medical marketing services and their advanced telemedicine platform to help medical providers offer medical website design, medical copywriting, custom print materials, and more. It also provides doctors with the ability to invite all existing patients to telemedicine simultaneously, through their mass patient import feature.
CloudVisit helps physicians market their newly adapted telemedicine platform and services, which is crucial as patients are learning very quickly about the level of convenience that telemedicine provides. Once the majority of consumers gain this understanding, telemedicine utilization will grow with immeasurable speed.
Steven R. Gerst is the Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, MZI Healthcare, Vice President of Medical Affairs, MedCurrent Corporation, and Health Informatics Board Member & Professor, Bryan University. Dr. Gerst will be speaking at the IHC Forum and Expo, taking place in Atlanta Georgia at the Cobb Galleria Center, June 23rd ¯¯¯ 25th, 2015. He will be speaking on healthcare consumerism, and the solutions for health reform.
Steven R. Gerst is a graduate of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (M.D.), Columbia College (B.A.), Columbia School of Public Health ¯¯¯ Health Administration (M.P.H.) and the Goizuetta School of Business at Emory University (M.B.A.). He is a Diplomat in the American College of Healthcare Executives. He is also Dean Emeritus of the Masters of Science Program in Applied Health Informatics at Bryan University (Los Angeles, Sacramento, Toronto and Phoenix) where he serves on the Board of Advisors and has taught on the faculty. Dr. Gerst is currently at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine in the Office of the Chief Innovation Officer and Vice Provost as an ¯¯¯Entrepreneur ¯¯¯in-Residence,¯¯¯ and has served as an Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine.
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