Tag Archives: Telehealth

TeleDentistry: Mobile Apps Improving Oral Health

Tele-dentistry allows patients to consult a licensed dentist via a mobile app, without having to leave their home or make an appointment. By sharing high-resolution photos of their teeth and flagging specific concerns, they can get a personalized assessment and practical advice for ongoing improvement of their oral health.

What is Teledentistry?

Teledental health is a very broad category of solutions that service patients oral health at a distance by doing it remotely.  People who do not have a dentist, lack access to a dentist or live far from a dental office can be helped with this level of care – via telephone or videoconferencing capability or other means mentioned above.  It’s the idea that these technologies can be leveraged to improve access to care, gather and exchange information with a licensed dentist, to provide and support dental care delivery, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, transfer of dental information and education.

Defining Teledentistry

Telemedicine refers to the “virtual visits” that take place between patients and clinicians via communications technology — the video and audio connectivity that allows “virtual” meetings to occur in real time, from virtually any location.

teledental visit can be a videoconference between a dentist and a patient regarding an urgent dental or oral health problem, and it can also give patients improved access to information about the importance of oral health.

With evolving technology, urgent oral or dental issues can be remediated – helping people to avoid expensive, time-consuming visits to the hospital Emergency Room or urgent care clinic by scheduling them at a dental care facility the next day. 

TeleHealth: Weill Cornell ‘Center For Virtual Care’ Expands Training Courses

The new eCornell course, which features a curriculum in-line with the Association of American Medical College’s Telehealth Competencies, offers instruction on how to harness the digital health medium to effectively create a therapeutic patient-provider encounter. Students learn essentials including verbal and nonverbal communication strategies to convey empathy and compassion, how to overcome technical challenges, and how to conduct remote patient exams.

Digital health and the tools for patients to virtually reach their health care providers have quickly become a mainstay of medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Weill Cornell Medicine’s Center for Virtual Care is positioned at the leading edge of this health care delivery transformation. Leveraging their years of experience with video visits, the center’s experts train providers how to best use it to give their patients comprehensive, compassionate care.

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DR. C Comments

Telehealth offers significant advantages to both patient and doctor. It should be a welcome and valuable addition to the medical profession in its desire to deliver comprehensive care to patients. However, Telemedicine faces a number of barriers both from the medical side and the patient side, not to mention insurance, lawyers, and government.

A good video was posted from Cornell, which aims to get doctors to develop a set of behavioral skills which will make telemedicine more personal. Of course, training should be extended to peripheral sensing devices that will enhance the ability of doctors to gain information at a distance, as well as familiarization with a user-friendly electronic system to navigate.

Patients also need a special course in how to become more Competent in the technical aspects of telemedicine,  sensors and other challenges. Since  Telemedicine visits occur at widely spaced intervals, even an intensive training course might find the patient unfamiliar with the system at the time of need.

Recently, I signed up for a zoom consultation At UCLA medical Center. It was very helpful to have a knowledgeable person on the phone directing me through the maze that got me signed up to “my chart”, The electronic system that UCLA uses. Even though I took Notes, when it is actually time to get into the system and  go to the virtual waiting room of my chart, I may well have difficulty.

And that’s just one system. It seems as though doctors offices, different medical systems, and different health plans all have their own unique electronic systems which are enough different to be confusing to the patient.

I can only hope that the newer generations, having grown up using these electronic devices, will have enough facility to easily interface with their doctor electronically. Until the older generation passes on, however,  there will be ongoing challenges.

Legal: ‘Regulation Of Telehealth Services In The Era Of Covid (Video)

Technology has made it possible for people to virtually access their healthcare providers. During COVID-19, this has enabled patients and doctors to avoid excess exposure and travel for non-emergency visits. However, state and local regulations frequently limit or ban telemedicine for health and safety reasons. Should telemedicine be considered as the same or different from traditional office visits, and what regulations should govern it? Anastasia P. Boden is an attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation.

TELEMEDICINE: EYE & EAR TELE-CONSULTS, PRIMARY CARE AT MOUNT SINAI (NYEE)

From tele-consults in the ED to on-site fundus imaging at Primary Care offices, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE) is adapting to the rapidly changing healthcare environment with innovative new applications and technologies and making them a permanent part of our patient service. These approaches are not only valuable social distancing tools, to reduce coronavirus exposure of physicians, staff, and patients, but they also allow greater access to care and quicker and more effective triage of patients.

For more information about NYEE, visit www.nyee.edu

TELEHEALTH: ‘ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES’ (HARVARD)

Telehealth is defined as the delivery of health care services at a distance through the use of technology. It can include everything from conducting medical visits over the computer, to monitoring patients’ vital signs remotely. Its definition is broader than that of telemedicine, which only includes the remote delivery of health care.

Telehealth can be delivered in one of three ways:

  • Synchronous—when the doctor communicates with the patient in real time via computer or telephone
  • Asynchronous—when data, images, or messages are recorded to share with the doctor later
  • Remote patient monitoring—when measurements such as weight or blood pressure are sent to the health care provider

What you can do with telehealth

All of the following activities and services are possible with the help of telehealth:

  • Recording measurements like your weight, food intake, blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar levels either manually, or through a wearable device, and sending them to your doctor.
  • Having a virtual visit with your doctor or a nurse over your computer or smartphone.
  • Using an online portal to check your test results, request prescription refills, send your doctor a message, or schedule an appointment.
  • Sharing information such as your test results, diagnoses, medications, and drug allergies with all of the providers you see.
  • Coordinating care between your primary care provider and any specialists you visit—including the sharing of exam notes and test results between medical offices in different locations.
  • Getting email or text reminders when you’re due for mammograms, colonoscopies, and other screenings, or routine vaccinations.
  • Monitoring older adults at home to make sure they are eating, sleeping, and taking their medications on schedule.

Downsides to telehealth

Telehealth offers a convenient and cost-effective way to see your doctor without having to leave your home, but it does have a few downsides.

  • It isn’t possible to do every type of visit remotely. You still have to go into the office for things like imaging tests and blood work, as well as for diagnoses that require a more hands-on approach.
  • The security of personal health data transmitted electronically is a concern.
  • While insurance companies are increasingly covering the cost of telehealth visits during the COVID-19 pandemic, some services may not be fully covered, leading to out-of-pocket costs.

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Surveys: Telemedicine Surges With “Chronic Condition” Patients

Though people living with a chronic condition have a vast range of experiences, our data show that the most common way they managed their condition between March and May 2020 was through telemedicine (45 percent). Only 8 percent had used it before… 

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