Telemedicine

The Pulse of Telehealth: A Year in Review

Telemedicine has seen some remarkable advancements in 2016, from the development of Mobile Stroke Units to the first standalone telehealth legislation reaching the president’s desk.

As we anxiously await what new developments await us in 2017, here’s a look back to some of the exciting changes from 2016:

The American Academy of Pediatrics voiced its support for a study which concluded that telehealth is equally effective as in-person care for pediatric cases.

The advantages offered through telehealth has also caught the eye of the Indian Health Service (IHS), which seeks to utilize the innovative technology in order to expand access to care for more than 130,000 Native Americans in the Great Plains system.

As broadband internet access expands, and speeds increased, more and more patients will have access to real-time healthcare in the form of telehealth.

A Military Hospital in Rwanda is using telemedicine as a training platform; connecting students to top professors across the country, and hospitals to countries with far more advanced telemedicine services.

Avoiding readmission is something that physicians strive for, regardless of their field of medicine. As seen this year, telemedicine is one solution that can assist this effort.

Threats like Zika and cancer are swiftly being addressed by telemedicine programs which target near-inaccessible populations across the globe.

And on the home front, telemedicine services are gaining rapid popularity with employers looking to optimize the throughput of their workforce by offering the health benefit.

While progress has been made in Arkansas regarding telemedicine legislation, barriers still exist and continue to cause a headache for telehealth advocates.

Taking a more visual approach, we saw that patient medical care can be depicted by a pyramid with three levels: Primary Care/Urgent Care, Specialists/Hospitalization, and Long Term care – but should a fourth be added?

A new milestone was reached as the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the first standalone telemedicine bill ever to receive a recorded vote on the floor.

On behalf of the entire MeMD team, we would like to wish you all a healthy holiday season and a happy New Year. We look forward to sharing more exciting updates with you in 2017!

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