Telehealth Comes of Age

What do the following have in common?

Rural areas, medical insurance companies, 200,000 patients, cardiac patients, mental health patients, neurological telehealthdisease patients, suicide prevention and oncology follow-up care. An unlikely group of terms? Not if you consider that all of these derive a benefit or support from TELEHEALTH. In this age of high technology many medical procedures and benefits can be accomplished remotely and with as much expertise as with a face to face encounter with a professional.

Today, telehealth   is fast taking its place as a major aspect of healthcare and is understood more than ever before.

According to Jonathan Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA),  telemedicine is growing by leaps and bounds, and is due to double its current use in upcoming years.

More and more people and agencies of all kinds are joining the telehealth bandwagon.”

Telehealth used to be prevalent in rural areas mostly, where it is vital for care. However now, it is used in all parts of the country, Linkous said.

It has also attracted the interest of insurance payers. ”In the next few years,  major healthcare payers will be making interesting announcements” about telehealth, he said.

According to Linkous, tele monitoring is used by 200,000 patients nationwide. It is used to monitor one million cardiac patients a year alone, and provides 400,000 virtual visits  to mental health patients, via Skype.

The majority of patients being treated for neurological diseases are currently connected to a telesystem outside of a hospital. Nearly every major neurologic healthcare organization is using the system.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has recently begun to use telehealth to focus on mental healthcare. Beginning in July, the VA has used instant messaging in a suicide prevention program to help keep 6,000 vets online until assistance can arrive. The VA is also using telemedicine on oncology follow-up care.
When a physical therapy solution is needed and the patient lives too far from a rehabilitation facility or is back home after substantial recovery from a stroke or other limb disabling disease or surgery the TUTOR system is equipped with telerehabilitation to allow the patient to receive therapist monitored exercises.
The HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3DTUTOR are physical therapy products that consist of ergonomically designed gloves and braces with sensors connected to dedicated software. This software contains challenging games whereby the patient can use his own power to move a disabled limb or joint. The therapist then designs a specific exercise program for that patient based on his abilities.
The TUTOR system is currently in use in leading U.S. and European hospitals and clinics and is fully certified by the FDA and CE. See WWW.MEDITOUCH.CO.IL for further information.

 

 

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