A weekly podcast on the latest medical, science and telehealth news.
A weekly podcast on the latest medical, science and telehealth news.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Telemedicine is being used to reach patients with diabetes in remote parts of Montana. This program is a unique partnership between CDC, the Eastern Montana Telemedicine Network, and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.
In one study published in JAMA Open Network, researchers found that 87% of the preliminary diagnoses made during telemedicine appointments were later confirmed during in-person appointments.
To put it simply: diagnoses over video are usually spot on.
December 2, 2022 – Researchers evaluated more than 97,000 video visits across Mayo Clinic between March and June 2020. Of those visits, 2,400 patients had a visit for a new health concern and followed up with an in-person appointment within 90 days.
The highest rate of matching telemedicine and in-person diagnoses was found in specialties that included psychiatry and psychology, allergy and immunology, orthopedics, and urology. While diagnostic concordance was slightly lower in specialties such as dermatology and ear, nose and throat (ENT), still, close to 80% of those diagnoses were confirmed in person.
Asurvey of more than 1,000 registered physicians who used telehealth services to treat patients with opioid-use disorder during COVID-19 found that an overwhelming majority favor making telehealth a permanent part of their practice.
Yale School of Public Health – The findings of the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) study provide new support for the use of telehealth technology in treating opioid-use disorder. Policymakers currently are debating whether existing regulations allowing for telehealth during the COVID pandemic should be extended temporarily as the pandemic wears on — or made a permanent part of treatment practice options.
“Recent exposure to telehealth due to the COVID-19 pandemic has promoted the perspective among the physicians surveyed that it is a viable and effective treatment option for patients,” said the study’s lead author Tamara Beetham, MPH, a PhD student in health policy and management at YSPH. “Findings like these could have major implications for the future of telehealth regulation. Continued flexibility would allow more individuals to access life-saving treatment.”
A staggering 107,622 people in the U.S. died of drug overdose in 2021, a 15% increase from 2020, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Physicians frequently prescribe buprenorphine to treat opioid-use disorder and reduce the risk of overdose. Patients must regularly follow up with their provider as part of their treatment.
“Our study showed that the highest level of patient satisfaction within telemedicine visits was actually among patients within the 65 to 79-year-old age range—which has been an age group often seen as resistant to this mode of care,” says Bart Demaerschalk, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neurologist and senior author. “These findings show how important it is that health care organizations don’t exclusively target telemedicine to their younger, more tech-savvy patients.”
Mayo Clinic, November 3, 2022 – In one of the largest studies to date of its kind, Mayo Clinic researchers found patient satisfaction ratings to be equivalent for video telemedicine visits and in-person clinic visits. These findings highlight the potential for the use of telemedicine across a variety of patient populations.
The study, published in the Patient Experience Journal, evaluated patient satisfaction scores from over 300,000 patients treated either in-person or via video telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While researchers found that patient satisfaction ratings were overall equivalent across the two modes of care, they did observe several interesting trends within certain age groups, genders, and races, which countered historical perceptions of telemedicine and represent opportunities for future study.
Telemedicine could soon offer relief local emergency rooms desperately need.
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Using artificial intelligence in health care seems like a futuristic concept, but it’s something that’s being used now to complement the knowledge of doctors. Radiology was one of the first areas that saw a lot of AI applications.
Dr. Bradley Erickson, director of Mayo Clinic’s AI Lab, says in the case of radiology, machine learning is used to complete some of the more time-consuming work. Beyond that, the diagnostic capabilities of AI are what attracts a lot of the appeal. While imaging-related AI has seen a lot of advancements, Dr. Bhavik Patel, director of AI at Mayo Clinic Arizona, says the next step is looking at AI applications for preventive health and shifting the mindset from pipeline to platform thinking.
There are a broad area of applications (for AI), starting in radiology, but really spreading into the rest of the clinic, including cardiology and even pathology.
“Telemedicine is here to stay,” said Dr. Rahul Sharma, professor and chair of emergency medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and co-author of a commentary on the results. “Health care organizations really need to think about the next steps regarding the future of virtual care, such as how we integrate it into our systems, and how to make sure we are meeting the needs of both our clinicians and our patients.”
The survey, conducted in March, polled members of NEJM’s Catalyst Insight Council who are clinicians, clinical leaders and executives in organizations that deliver care. The survey received 984 responses from around the world, 609 from the United States. Dr. Sharma, who is also emergency physician-in-chief at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and executive director of the Center for Virtual Care at Weill Cornell Medicine, helped formulate the questions with his co-author Dr. Judd E. Hollander, senior vice president of health care delivery innovation at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
Of U.S. respondents, 71 percent reported that telemedicine has improved patient health, while a similar proportion said it provides at least moderate quality specialty or mental health care. For primary care, that share was 81 percent. When responses across all countries are included, the results differ only slightly from those of U.S. respondents.
Are Amazon Alexa and Google Home limited to our bedrooms, or can they be used in hospitals? Do you envision a future where physicians work hand-in-hand with voice AI to revolutionize healthcare delivery? In the near future, clinical smart assistants will be able to automate many manual hospital tasks—and this will be only the beginning of the changes to come.
Voice AI is the future of physician-machine interaction and this Focus book provides invaluable insight on its next frontier. It begins with a brief history and current implementations of voice-activated assistants and illustrates why clinical voice AI is at its inflection point. Next, it describes how the authors built the world’s first smart surgical assistant using an off-the-shelf smart home device, outlining the implementation process in the operating room. From quantitative metrics to surgeons’ feedback, the authors discuss the feasibility of this technology in the surgical setting. The book then provides an in-depth development guideline for engineers and clinicians desiring to develop their own smart surgical assistants. Lastly, the authors delve into their experiences in translating voice AI into the clinical setting and reflect on the challenges and merits of this pursuit.
The world’s first smart surgical assistant has not only reduced surgical time but eliminated major touch points in the operating room, resulting in positive, significant implications for patient outcomes and surgery costs. From clinicians eager for insight on the next digital health revolution to developers interested in building the next clinical voice AI, this book offers a guide for both audiences.