The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact on pediatric care of the Pacific Asynchronous TeleHealth (PATH) system, a provider-to-provider teleconsultation platform utilized by military medical facilities throughout the Pacific Region. This review focuses on access to care, quality of care, and cost savings for the Department of Defense as a result of ongoing development of the PATH system from 2006 to 2009.
This is a retrospective review of 1,000 consecutive teleconsultations occurring from January 2006 to March 2009. Three pediatric subspecialists reviewed the characteristics of each teleconsultation and the ultimate outcome.
The PATH system processed > 300 pediatric teleconsultations in 2009 from 20 hospitals and clinics throughout the Pacific Region. The number of teleconsultations has grown significantly since 2006. Median teleconsultation response time was 14.5 h with 97% of teleconsultations answered within 1 week. The majority (75%) of teleconsultations came from areas without host nation pediatric subspecialty resources. Most teleconsultations (72%) involved diagnostic questions, whereas 21% were primarily for treatment issues. Teleconsultations originated predominantly from outpatient clinics (90%), with question resolution in 60% of cases without a face-to-face subspecialty evaluation. Fifteen percent of teleconsultations resulted in patient transfer to our center for definitive diagnosis and treatment. The diagnostic and/or treatment plan was modified in 74% of teleconsultations. PATH precluded patient transfer in 12%-43% of teleconsultations (annual savings: $208,283-$746,348 per year) and generated an average of 1.7 relative value units per teleconsultation.
PATH provided patient access to pediatric subspecialty expertise via provider-to-provider asynchronous teleconsultation. Internet-based pediatric subspecialty teleconsultation provides fast, convenient, cost-effective, quality pediatric care to populations of patients who might otherwise require transfer to a distant medical facility for more advanced care. PATH serves as a model for future asynchronous teleconsultation platforms in both the military and civilian healthcare arenas.
Nearly half a century ago, telemedicine was disregarded for being an unwieldy, unreliable, and unaffordable technology. Rapidly evolving telecommunications and information technologies have provided a solid foundation for telemedicine as a feasible, dependable, and useful technology. Practitioners from a variety of medical specialties have claimed success in their telemedicine pursuits. Gradually, this new modality of healthcare delivery is finding its way into the mainstream medicine. As a multidisciplinary, dynamic, and continually evolving tool in medicine, researchers and users have developed various definitions for telemedicine. The meaning of telemedicine encapsulated in these definitions varies with the context in which the term was applied. An analysis of these definitions can play an important role in improving understanding about telemedicine. In this paper we present an extensive literature review that produced 104 peer-reviewed definitions of telemedicine. These definitions have been analyzed to highlight the context in which the term has been defined. The paper also suggests a definition of modern telemedicine. The authors suggest that telemedicine is a branch of e-health that uses communications networks for delivery of healthcare services and medical education from one geographical location to another. It is deployed to overcome issues like uneven distribution and shortage of infrastructural and human resources. We expect that this study will enhance the level of understanding and meaning of telemedicine among stakeholders, new entrants, and researchers, eventually enabling a better quality of life.
To showcase the observations and lessons learned from the first large-scale international telemedicine program addressing the medical and health consequences of disasters.
Almost 24 years ago a major earthquake devastated the northwestern region of Soviet Armenia. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration deployed a telemedicine spacebridge, which operated uninterrupted for 3 months, extending its services to the remote region of Ufa to help the burn victims, mostly children, from a railroad explosion accident. Expert consultations were provided by four major medical center from the United States and several military and civilian medical services of the Soviet Union.
Disasters continue to contribute to increased morbidity and mortality with significant economic impacts worldwide. Psychological, physical, and social sequelae persist years after the events. Many pre-existing socioeconomic conditions are aggravated following disasters. Telemedicine is a useful medical and public health technology that continues to be underutilized due to the lack of inclusion in the preparedness planning, training, availability of networks, and connectivity costs.
Natural and human-made disasters require both near-term and long-term interventions to reduce morbidity and mortality among the surviving victims. Telemedicine, information technology, and modern portable communication devices should be incorporated in disaster preparedness and recovery training and operations.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) initially established a Commercial Space Center (CSC) in the Department of Surgery at Yale University School of Medicine to further develop and evaluate technologies in information systems, telecommunications applied to medicine, and physiologic sensors. The CSC is known as the Medical Informatics and Technology Applications Consortium (MITAC). The overall purpose for this NASA program is to leverage technology, innovation, and resources from industry and academia through collaborative partnerships. The Yale-NASA CSC/MITAC organized the Everest Extreme Expeditions (E3) for the spring Himalayan climbing seasons in the years 1998 and 1999. The primary mission was to deliver advanced medical support with global telemedicine capabilities to one of the world's most remote and hostile settings--Mount Everest. The purpose was both humanitarian (providing medical support) and scientific (conducting medical and technology research). The Yale team provided medical care for the Everest Base Camp community; conducted validation experiments for several types of advanced medical technologies in this remote, hostile environment; and performed real-time monitoring of selected climbers, while also assessing the basic science of altitude physiology. Additionally, the teams conducted outreach medical care to the citizens of Nepal and provided several educational forums for a variety of medical and nonmedical personnel--including school-age children. As part of the project's mission, the E3 medical teams at both Nepal and New Haven were on a 24-hour emergency call system to deliver medical care in the event of a crisis. Unlike most of the teams at Everest, the mission of E3 was not to climb the 29,028-foot mountain the Nepalese call Sagarmatha ("Sky Head"). The mountain served as an extreme testing ground for telemedicine. The lessons learned from this testbed are reviewed here and further clarify the abilities to provide better health care in remote and extreme environments--which for some may even be their home environment during/after a medical illness.
As Internet access proliferates and technology becomes more accessible, the number of people online has been increasing. Web 2.0 and the social computing phenomena (such as Facebook, Friendster, Flickr, YouTube, Blogger, and MySpace) are creating a new reality on the Web: Users are changing from consumers of Web-available information and resources to generators of information and content. Moving beyond telehealth and Web sites, the push toward Personal Health Records has emerged as a new option for patients to take control of their medical data and to become active participants in the push toward widespread digitized healthcare. There is minimal research on the impact of Web 2.0 in healthcare. This paper reviews the changing patient-physician relationship in the Healthcare 2.0 environment, explores the technological challenges, and highlights areas for research.
Abstract A novel antenna design that effectively covers the industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) band at 2.45 GHz using an X-shaped structure with a coplanar waveguide (CPW) feed is described. The antenna has a compact size of 67.6 mm(3). The proposed design is effective for ISM band biotelemetry with a wakeup controller (2.45 GHz). An experimental prototype of the compact implantable CPW-fed X-shaped monopole antenna was fabricated on a biocompatible alumina Al2O3 ceramic substrate. The optimal antenna was fabricated and tested in minced tissue from the front leg of a pig and on a human body phantom liquid. The simulated and measured bandwidths are 180 MHz and 210 MHz in the ISM band, respectively.
This paper describes a model for homeland security, community readiness, and medical response that was applied during an operational exercise around Super Bowl XXXVII. In addition, it describes the products provided by private companies involved in the exercise and how they would have contributed to a medical disaster had one occurred. The purpose of Shadow Bowl was to demonstrate community readiness and medical response to a mass casualty event. The goals of the project were to: (1) provide enhanced public safety using an advanced communication network and sensor grid; (2) develop mass casualty surge capabilities through medical reach-back; and (3) build a collaboration model between civilian, military, public, and private partners. The results of the Shadow Bowl Exercise accentuated the value of new telehealth and disaster medicine tools in treating large numbers of patients when infrastructure overload occurs.
The objective of this study was to examine access and use of health-related information online in rural versus nonrural Internet users, using national data from the 2006 Pew Internet and American Life Project.
A national telephone survey of 2,928 adults in August 2006 yielded a sample of 1,992 adults who use the Internet regularly. A structured interview was administered to assess frequency of Internet use and access and use of health-related information online.
Most Internet-using rural adults search for health-related information online; two-thirds seek information about specific medical problems and over half seek information about treatment. Three-fifths of rural adults surveyed stated that online health-related information affected the decisions they made in health maintenance and managing treatment of an illness. More than one-third reported being significantly helped by information they found, whereas one-fourth reported being confused. Comparisons between rural and nonrural Internet users suggested that rural users were more likely to seek information about smoking cessation (χ(2)[1, N=1,990]=7.91, p<0.01) and mental health issues (χ(2)[1, N=1,988]=3.71, p=0.05), less likely to seek information about a particular doctor or hospital (χ(2)[1, N=1,983]=15.49, p<0.001), and more likely to report being helped (χ(2)[1, N=1,534]=5.24, p<0.05)-but also confused (χ(2)[1, N=1,592]=9.83, p<0.01)-by information they found.
Rural Americans are increasingly using the Internet to acquire information about chronic disease, mental health, doctors, and treatment options. Priorities should include further development and rigorous evaluation of online resources to ensure high-quality, more direct tailoring of resources to rural families and development of tools to assist consumers in assessing the credibility of online information.
Demographic changes in Germany are expected to cause a rising need for medical care and therapy while capacities are declining. Telemedicine offers the option of minimizing some aspects of these problems, but so far, many telemedicine projects in Germany (including telemonitoring projects) are not applied to the clinical routine. This study was done to assess the influence of health factors on potential willingness to use telemonitoring devices at home.
Materials and methods:
Health status and other health-relevant factors were determined using individual and medical factors (e.g., reported diseases). Principal-component analysis was used to identify groups with a specific response behavior. This study was based on a representative telephone survey conducted in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia in 2009.
Willingness to use telemonitoring was high in North Rhine-Westphalia but decreased with age. Men showed a significantly greater willingness to use telemonitoring than did women. Also, there was an effect associated with the subjects' health status (e.g., cardiovascular diseases caused a decrease of 9.7% in the level of acceptance, whereas musculoskeletal disorders caused a decrease of 5.1%).
The target groups for telemonitoring consisted mainly of elderly persons and those with certain diseases. This study showed that being diseased lowered the willingness to use telemonitoring. People need to understand better how telemonitoring can help to improve controlling their health status and coping with the disease. It is necessary to reflect on these specific needs if telemonitoring is to become routine in the German healthcare system.
ATAlogo_250px.tif Evidence-Based Practice for Telemental Health ATAlogo_200px.tif Evidence-Based Practice for Telemental Health ATAlogo_175px.tif Evidence-Based Practice for Telemental Health ATAlogo_150px.tif Evidence-Based Practice for Telemental Health ATAlogo_75px.tif Evidence-Based Practice for Telemental Health ATAlogo_70px.tif Telemental Health Standards and Guidelines Working Group Co-Chairs: Brian Grady, MD Kathleen Myers, MD, MPH Eve-Lynn Nelson, PhD Writing Committees: Evidence-Based Practice for Telemental Health Norbert Belz, MHSA RHIA, Leslie Bennett, LCSW, Lisa Carnahan, PhD, Veronica Decker, APRN, BC, MBA, Brian Grady, MD, Dwight Holden, MD, Kathleen Myers, MD, MPH, Eve-Lynn Nelson, PhD, Gregg Perry, MD, Lynne S. Rosenthal, PhD, Nancy Rowe, Ryan Spaulding, PhD, Carolyn Turvey, PhD, Debbie Voyles, Robert White, MA, LCPC Practice Guidelines for Videoconferencing-Based Telemental Health Peter Yellowlees, MD, Jay Shore, MD, Lisa Roberts, PhD Contributors: Working Group Members [WG], Consultant...
Digital cameras are fundamental tools for store-and-forward telemedicine (electronic consultation). The choice of a camera may significantly impact this consultative process based on the quality of the images, the ability of users to leverage the cameras' features, and other facets of the camera design. The goal of this research was to provide a substantive framework and clearly defined process for reviewing digital cameras and to demonstrate the results obtained when employing this process to review point-and-shoot digital cameras introduced in 2009. The process included a market review, in-house evaluation of features, image reviews, functional testing, and feature prioritization. Seventy-two cameras were identified new on the market in 2009, and 10 were chosen for in-house evaluation. Four cameras scored very high for mechanical functionality and ease-of-use. The final analysis revealed three cameras that had excellent scores for both color accuracy and photographic detail and these represent excellent options for telemedicine: Canon Powershot SD970 IS, Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR, and Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3. Additional features of the Canon Powershot SD970 IS make it the camera of choice for our Alaska program.
Major government efforts to widen the use of health information technology and speed the translation of biomedical research discoveries into clinical practice are converging with the rapid growth of the Internet to create unprecedented opportunities to use telehealth networks to broaden access to high-quality healthcare and expand the scope and reach of clinical and translational research. Recognizing the dual potential of telehealth networks to improve health outcomes and reduce barriers to participation in research, particularly in medically underserved communities, the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), convened a national conference at the NIH on June 25-26, 2009, titled "Future of Telehealth: Essential Tools and Technologies for Clinical Research and Care," in collaboration with experts from the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Indian Health Service, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Internet2, and the NIH National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, and National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities. The conference brought together over 400 subject matter experts from government, academia, and industry to discuss a wide range of issues in telehealth research and development. Its primary outcome is a set of short papers reporting on recommendations from thematic breakout sessions and some overarching recommendations that can, taken together, stimulate and help guide further research through new multi-agency, interdisciplinary collaborations.