Telemedicine or remote patient monitoring has picked up pace with the ubiquitous use of smartphones, tabs and internet. As an experienced professional associated with healthcare industry since long, I have been delivering speeches on telemedicine in globally renowned medical conferences.
To me, it has been a long in-depth study that unearthed the importance of telemedicine which is set to shape the future healthcare delivery based on videoconferencing and usage of mobile devices.
This is inevitable considering huge shortfall in physicians and caregivers compared to the swelling aged population vulnerable to critical ailments and disability, rising incidences of chronic ailments and spiraling healthcare costs.
Let us have a look at ten telemedicine innovations set to create better models of healthcare delivery:
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Smallest hand-held mobile telemedicine kit integrated with a tablet or computer for first-line patient examination.
Advanced digital displays, LED light sources, high-resolution imaging, wireless data transfer easily interfaces with EHR and PACS systems.
Simplifies doctor-patient interaction with one-click video conferencing that requires no tedious installation process.
Also comes integrated with other medical devices like stethoscope, otoscope, ultrasound, X-Rays, surgical fluoroscopes etc.
Allows you to switch between screens to share medical records with the doctor.
Aimed at reducing hospital readmissions.
The 30-day Readmission avoidance program helps in proactive planning, post-discharge care-coordination and remote health monitoring.
The platform works proactively with effective coordination between the patient and the primary care giver and other healthcare providers.
Dramatic reduction in readmission has been observed in chronic heart failure and COPD patients.
Dictum VER Clinic Telehealth Cart:
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Fully integrated teleclinic with Virtual Examination Room (VER) enabling one of the best forms of remote monitoring of acute and post-acute patients.
Patients get a live physician/clinician interaction through a highly secured PTZ video-conferencing camera offering 360-degree view of the patient.
Offers data on vital parameters and medical images facilitating timely diagnosis and treatment.
Offers digital hospital experience through in-room big-screen projections.
With small footprints, this sleek telemedicine cart can be easily maneuvered between small spaces and rooms.
Whether it is remote patient monitoring, providing emergency care or offering home care during recovery, DICTUM VER clinic ensures accelerating patient care.
Eyeprevent – remote monitoring of Diabetic retinopathy:
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Diabetic retinopathy, one of the leading causes of blindness in the world cannot be cured but require constant monitoring.
EyePrevent helps in evaluating diabetic retinopathy through retinal imaging and providing remote expert interpretation.
Ensures higher compliance and better patient care preventing patients from going for pupil dilation.
Health-e-chair from Commwell:
Image Source : commwellmedical.com
How would it be like if your favorite recliner gets transformed into your health-monitoring station?
Health-e-chair comes with an array of biosensors that measure vital signs like body weight, blood pressure, temperature, ECG, blood oxygen saturation, heart and lung sounds, motion analysis and reflex response period.
The information is sent through a remotely controlled camera.
The users do not need any prior training to use this chair. Just sitting will do. The rest would be monitored by the remotely located clinician.
Allows you to avail high-quality diagnostics from anyplace anywhere for example from workplace or school.
Establishes face-to-face interactive platform with the physicians and also sets the path for further follow-ups.
Supports accessing Electronic health records facilitating electronic prescribing.
Can be set in universities, offices and any other location.
Getwell:) Network – enabling more patient engagement:
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More engaged a patient better is his/her care and treatment outcome. Getwell Network works on this principle emphasizing on Interactive Patient Care.
Provides bedside entertainment and educational resources through in-room TV screen to keep the patient engaged.
Delivers pain management training to the patients reducing the need to consult a busy professional.
Can also integrate hospital IT system and customize the interactive content for each patient.
Robotic Telemedicine with InTouch Health and iRobot:
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RPVITA, the first telemedicine robot to get FDA clearance uniquely integrated with state-of-the-art telecommunications and AutoDrive Technology.
Can be integrated with telestroke, teleICU, telepsych and telepediatric programs in a hospital.
Frees doctors and nurses from focusing only on patient care.
Enables face-to-face communication and collaboration with two remotely located doctors easily at the patient’s bedside
Virtual Nurse at Banner Health:
The conventional nursing activity like attending patients at the bedside round-the-clock is about to go off as the virtual nurse sets in to attend a lot of patients at ease. Banner Health, a telehealth system serving 7 states in the Western US has redefined nursing activities.
Enables monitoring 40-45 patients per day across 6 facilities in the region.
Helps in providing remote nursing support in community hospitals lacking specialized ICUs.
Virtual Nursing enables these community hospitals admit high acuity patients and get support from telehealth nursing without undertaking the arduous task of making the patient travel for 4-5 hours to get the required high-acuity support.
The eICU environment along with the software eCareManager helps in accessing the patient’s electronic medical records.
High-definition cameras and big projection screens make the nurses feel as if they are by the patient’s bedside in the same room in spite of being located hundreds of miles away.
Evolution of telemedicine in testing times
It is interesting to watch how telemedicine can be indispensable in testing times. Doctors, clinicians and healthcare organizations are putting high stakes on it to prevent overcrowding of clinics and hospitals. More important is, many insurance companies especially in the US are reimbursing telemedicine consultations.
Online coronavirus clinics
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To tackle covid crisis, Telemedicine services of China like Ali Health, JD Health and WeDoctor set up virtual corona clinics to track and treat corona- infected patients without making them travel. This reduces the risk of exposure and spread. Through Virtual Visits, it can be easy to decide which person needs to be tested and which need not. This holds not only for covid but to check any seasonal epidemic with high potential of fatality.
One of the first companies to create an at-home testing device useful for the patients that would help in measuring vital parameters during teleconsultation. The doctor located remotely can guide the patient in taking the vital signs with the device to get real-time data for proper diagnosis.
Harnessing the AI
Going a step ahead in telemedicine and remote monitoring, some companies are using AI and signal processing to check the vital parameters of a patient simply via a smartphone camera. It would be convenient enough to check the patient’s oxygen saturation amid the pandemic. The objective is to add to the patient’s convenience without risking the spread of infection.