Telehealth Services Put Specialists at Patients’ Fingertips

Visit ATA18, Chicago, this week to see the Visionflex ProEX Telehealth Hub

Telehealth Services Put Specialists at Patients’ Fingertips

For patients in rural and remote locations, frequent trips to the doctor’s office aren’t practical, particularly when it comes to visits to specialists. Fortunately, advances in technology are making telemedicine options both clinically sound and cost-effective, even for specialised conditions.

What’s more, they make sense in a world in which the mobile phone has become the gateway to services of all kinds.

“Consumers throughout their entire lives are shifting to the on-demand economy, whether it’s booking travel or shopping for groceries or buying shoes,”  says Jason Gorevic, CEO of telemedicine provider Teladoc. “Consumers see this as a more-convenient, more-timely way to get care.”

From dermatology to cardiology to behavioural health, here are some of the telemedicine services that enable patients to connect with specialists faster and more effectively.

Telehealth and Dermatology

You might think that a dermatologist needs to examine skin up close to arrive at a diagnosis and treatment plan. But for common conditions like psoriasis, telemedicine can do the trick.

Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles recently found that an online model to manage psoriasis was as effective as in-person treatment and that online patients actually rated their psoriasis as less severe. In the study, patients and primary care physicians uploaded standardised photos of skin conditions for remote analysis by specialists.

Trends suggest that demand for dermatology is outstripping the supply of doctors, especially as the population ages, according to the researchers. Thus, telemedicine services that cut back on the amount of time dermatologists devote to office visits could help ensure all patients receive the specialised treatment they need.

Saving Time and Money in Cardiac Care

Cardiologists are in high demand, as heart disease continues to be a leading cause of death in many developed nations. In response, telemedicine platforms such as eConsult are helping primary care doctors communicate directly with cardiologists, managing their time more effectively and reducing costs.

Recent research by the Community Health Center and the University of Connecticut Health Center has shown that telemedicine can dramatically lower the cost of treating Medicaid recipients in the United States.

“The $466 saved per cardiology eConsult demonstrates the economic benefit, while patients who commonly endure long waits for specialists receive timely, high-quality care,” the researchers said in a press release

Identifying Autism Earlier

Currently, the average age of diagnosis of autism is 4.1 years, meaning that parents often spend years before receiving definitive answers about a child’s behavioural health. But now, mobile telemedicine tools are helping parents receive a diagnosis much earlier, dispelling doubts and reducing the long-term costs of managing the condition.

In a milestone for telemedicine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently ruled that diagnostic software created by mobile health startup Cognoa can be considered a medical device. The solution will help reduce a backlog of children who may otherwise spend months waiting for more extensive in-person evaluations, researchers said.

“What’s exciting is how Cognoa will be able to empower primary care physicians to make a primary diagnosis and refer children directly for treatment, greatly reducing the time from diagnosis to meaningful interventions and leading to better outcomes,” said pediatrician Dr. Daniel Coury.

Looking Ahead

In all of these areas, telemedicine promises a number of important benefits. Among the most crucial, it will cut costs, help specialists to better use their time and ensure patients are treated more quickly — important benefits for both doctors and patients.

The Visionflex Solution

The ProEX Telehealth Hub, is a unique Telehealth solution from Australian company Visionflex. The ProEX integrates superior optics, high resolution LCD and ergonomic design to provide a state-of-the-art solution to the problem of remote patient imaging & diagnosis.

“Whether you are a specialist monitoring patients remotely or a healthcare provider visiting patients at home, the ProEX facilitates detailed examinations from the point-of-care by sharing detailed images for screening and diagnostic purposes in one quick and easy online consultation.”

Fluffy Spider Technologies is the software solution and UI/UX provider to Visionflex. Meet me in Chicago ATA18, San Francisco or the Bay Area in May to see this incredible product and find out how we can help you create your own unique solution.