Tag Archives: Telehealth

Telemedicine: UCM Digital Health Aids NY Hospitals

Telemedicine could soon offer relief local emergency rooms desperately need.

UCM Digital Health offers a digitally integrated, whole person health solution that provides patients with immediate access to care on their terms.

UCM combines a digital front door platform, multi-disciplinary team of providers, and a 24/7 telehealth triage, treatment, and navigation service to provide a range of patient services, including emergent and urgent care, primary and specialty care, behavioral health, and more. Care begins digitally and can seamlessly integrate across other points of care for a simple patient experience.

UCM brings together clinical expertise, advanced technology and compassionate care to offer powerful advantages for insurers, employers, patients and providers.

Telemedicine: New Survey Finds Virtual Care Is Now Mainstream Care Delivery

“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.

Read more

Technology: Smart, Voice-Assisted Operating Rooms

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.

Read more

Journals: Telemedicine And e-Health – June 2022

What Works Best to Engage Participants in Mobile App Interventions and e-Health: A Scoping Review

Enhancing participant engagement is considered a key priority for wellness and health care, especially as health care undergoes a shift toward the integration of digital technologies (e.g., mobile apps, health care monitors, and online portals with their consumer interfaces).1,2 Technological systems play a critical role in enhancing participant engagement.1,2 Among urban and low-income mothers, the use of smart-device technology for communication was a particularly important contributor to higher retention in longitudinal studies.3 Providing digital health tools has not only led to an increase in study participation adherence rates,4 but it has also contributed to measurable improvements in health care outcomes across several conditions. For instance, greater patient activation in their health care improved patient adherence to treatment prescriptions.5 Participants’ use of web portals to augment treatment of diabetes demonstrated improved glycemic control across multiple studies.6–8 Other studies have seen improvements in participants with HIV,9 with coronary artery disease,10 and with depression,11–13 highlighting how impactful the implementation of these tools can be across different clinical populations.

Schoeppe et al.14 emphasized common strategies that successful mobile interventions often use, such as goal setting, self-monitoring, and performance feedback in their app design. To our knowledge, however, there has not been a scoping review of the specific components of mobile intervention apps that increase engagement. Common across all digital health tools are the focus on increased patient engagement and “empowerment,” which is a result of several qualities inherent in these tools. Most of these technological systems improve patients’ communication with and access to health care providers,1,2,15 and provide patients with more comprehensive information about their health on demand.2,15 While these qualities are common across successful tools and play a large part in improving patient self-management and decreasing stress,2 improved engagement is no guarantee.

Furthermore, measuring engagement is a challenge that has likely contributed to our lack of knowledge on app components that effectively increase this important metric. There are now several measures that quantify the amount of engagement that patients feel toward the digital tools and apps that are being developed,2,15 but these are not widely used and engagement measurements are not standardized across studies. Some examples of such measures are the Patient Activation Measure (PAM16), Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS17), and the Patient Health Engagement scale (PHE-s18). These measures create a quantifiable standardized method by which researchers can measure the phenomenon of user engagement during program development, and are important considerations when creating new digital tools for patients and clinical research participants.

Technology: The Lancet Digital Health – July 2022

Telehealth: 8 Reasons & Benefits For Hospitals

  1. Expanded Patient Base

Late appointments and no-shows are frustrating elements of in-person care. They result in lost time for the healthcare practitioner (HCP) as well as lost opportunities to reach out to a new patient.

Virtual medical visits can reduce no-shows and increase treatment persistence. In a recent survey, U.S. patients who experienced telehealth visits rated this type of healthcare highly (above 80% positive), saying that using the method was beneficial to their mental health as well.

Additionally, HCPs can use telehealth to dramatically expand their patient base, as the technology provides easy access and scheduling. In a cross-sectional survey, 52.5% of clinicians said virtual visits allow for higher efficiency—and that its quality was equal to that of in-person visits.

  1. Increased Patient Flexibility

Patients must consider a variety of personal barriers when booking a doctor’s appointment: travel time, time off work, childcare. Telehealth visits dramatically reduce these considerations, reducing stress and increasing flexibility. Even established patients highly appreciate and prefer its convenience because of such advantages as family closeness, preferred modality, and improved self-management.

Patients benefit as well from reduced transportation and waiting times. Collectively, on-demand virtual visits can help your patients balance work, life, and healthcare.

  1. Increased Collaboration Opportunities Among Medical Disciplines

Optimized communication between patient-directed disciplines and diagnostic facilities is important for achieving fast and straightforward healthcare measures. The faster pace of treatment times and therapies that may result could benefit patients’ well-being.

Combining expertise increases diagnostic value. Doctors can easily invite consulting physicians to attend virtual visits on demand and quickly offer a second opinion or additional experience.

Digital platforms also offer easy access to congresses, seminars, and trainings, which reduces cost, time, and effort, strongly supporting the medical education of your healthcare personnel.

  1. Increased Patient Adherence

Easy access to generalists and specialists is key for patient adherence, treatment success, and hospital promotion. Proven factors include close monitoring, satisfaction, and short waiting periods.

Additionally, in regard to mental health, telehealth services have been proven to effectively support service delivery and reduction of depressive symptoms.

Virtual care is a promising approach to increase and keep patient adherence and persistence. Even for novel disease onsets, patients may stay with their preferred healthcare institution. Plainly stated: the happy patient comes back again.

  1. Easier Patient Follow-Up

Advances in treatment adherence and persistence mainly rely on regular and systematic touchpoints by HCPs. Telehealth opportunities and remote care options can create a variety of these touchpoints in personalized and case-specific ways, ranging from an overview of patient consultations to implantable cardiac monitors. Remote monitoring especially holds tremendous potential to profit from telehealth applications.

Depending on the disease and patient type, digital engagement and follow-up can greatly benefit treatment outcomes and quality of life. Digital symptom calendars and diagnostic tools support treatment decisions and speed.

  1. Improved Patient Outcomes

By using telehealth options, health-compromised patients have a lower risk of infection from classic healthcare-associated pathogens such as multiresistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Telehealth can reduce complications and potential disease progression for patients.

Physicians using telehealth have more possibilities to educate patients about their treatment plan, whether about medication or hands-on therapy. By using digital tools, zooming in scans for a close-up or providing self-injection videos, doctors can offer flexible and direct communication, which can improve patient satisfaction.

Telehealth also presents an opportunity for a physician or care team to see the environment of the patient and identify any issues the patient might not have mentioned and allow for an improved treatment plan.

  1. Physicians and Care Teams’ Health

Especially during the pandemic, doctors using telehealth could maintain the necessary distance from potentially infectious patients while staying in touch digitally. Virtual consultations became applicable and led to the rising numbers of features and platforms.

Besides the pivotal role of protecting doctors’ physical health, telehealth options also allow for optimized workload planning, improving physicians’ work-life balance. In a representative survey among 1,594 physicians across the U.S., 55% agreed or strongly agreed that “telehealth has improved the satisfaction of my work.”

  1. Cost Reduction

Telehealth solutions can reduce costs in various medical disciplines, such as dermatology, pediatric medicine, and cardiology. General expenses, like front-desk support, space for medical examination rooms, and material can also be reduced. Telehealth opportunities may reflect a favorable add-on for your hospital, considering their easy implementation, financial benefits, and cost reduction.

The benefits of telehealth opportunities are striking—for patients, doctors, and hospitals. Constantly increasing the number of services, tools, devices, and apps that enter the market has significantly improved healthcare procedures across all medical disciplines. Covid-19 opened the door for telehealth and digital medicine, and now it’s here to stay.

Read more

Journals: Telemedicine And e-Health – FEB 2022

Original Research

Patient Experience and Satisfaction with Telemedicine During Coronavirus Disease 2019: A Multi-Institution Experience


Implementation and Evaluation of a Neurology Telemedicine Initiative at a Major Academic Medical Center


Telemedicine in Primary Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Provider and Patient Satisfaction Examined