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Dementia’s Next Adversary: Telemedicine

Researchers with Northwestern University have used a telehealth platform called Communication Bridge to help patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or primary progressive aphasia by connecting them with speech-language pathologists. For many of the patients, the result is an improvement in their ability to recall lost words or concepts.

Though this progress is exciting, Emily J. Rogalski, associate professor of the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, cautioned the treatment is not a cure. Instead, it allows health professionals to “delay some of the progression” of dementia and “maximize a person’s remaining abilities so they can compensate” much longer than usual.

Rare Diseases and the Role of Telemedicine

February is a month that’s often dominated by red and pink hearts. But for some 30 million Americans, February is when their plight comes to the forefront.

February 28 is Rare Disease Day. Unfortunately, having a rare disease is more common than the name suggests.

2-1-1: The Right Call For People Needing Help

It wasn’t just the temperature that surged in Phoenix last summer.

From April 1 through September, as temperatures climbed to as high as 119 degrees, the staff at 2-1-1 Arizona responded to more than 25,000 phone calls, the great majority of them from people asking for help paying their electric bills.

2-1-1 programs are a free and confidential service accessible to more than 90 percent of Americans.  In addition to people seeking financial assistance with utility bills, 2-1-1 programs hear from people needing assistance with rent payments, food boxes, healthcare, child care, finding jobs and other needs.

Managing Telehealth’s Big Data with Data Warehousing

A central feature of Telehealth is that data, potentially in vast amounts, are accumulated about patients by provider organizations. This data has a variety of important uses beyond the diagnosis and treatment of each specific patient, both for individual health organizations and for the public at large (e.g., population health). Without modern data management technology, namely a data warehouse, there is no efficient way to analyze data aggregated from large patient populations, or ultimately use it to support data-driven healthcare decisions.

A data warehouse is a central data repository that stores data from multiple sources across an organization, enabling organizations to extract useful information.

SWTRC – Looking Forward!

Every now and then it’s good to sit back and reflect, take stock and think about where you’re going next. In the grant world, this happens on a regular basis – every time you want to submit a new one or if lucky submitting for a continuation or renewal. The SWTRC has been successful in obtaining funding since its inception, but this cycle was a little different. The SWTRC is funded by HRSA, the Health Resources & Services Administration. Specifically by the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth (OAT). So what could be new if we’ve been “in business” for nearly 10 years?

Southwest Telehealth Resource Center: Helping Providers Connect with Patients in the Rural Southwest

Telehealth services are available to providers in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Nevada

Helping healthcare providers connect with patients in some of the most underserved areas of the Southwest is the mission of the Southwest Telehealth Resource Center (SWTRC).

One of 14 telehealth resource centers in the U.S., the SWTRC was established in 2009 under the aegis of the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP), headquartered at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.  

Arizona as a Model of State Telehealth: a Picture of GA’s Future? You bet!

I recently had the opportunity to speak at “Georgia’s Health Care Reform Task Force” with other members of the Emory Virtual Patient Care team headed by Greg Esper, MD. Dr. Esper is a neurologist and Director of New Care Models at Emory and champion for expanding Emory’s telehealth footprint in GA (

From Farm to Fork: Virtual conference to Address Food Systems and Public Health

Tucson’s recent designation as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy is a tribute to our long history of harvesting  plants native to the Sonoran desert and heritage plants brought over by the Spanish, as well as the innovation and local mindedness of our community, and the multitude of food system initiatives constantly striving to improve the food security of our diverse populations.

A food system consists of the entire process from which food moves from farm to fork, including production, processing, packing, distribution, consumption, and food waste management. A healthy, sustainable food system is directly connected to public health goals like reducing hunger and obesity, protection and conservation of natural resources, and facilitating economic growth.

Telemental Health Services vs. Traveling for Treatment: What’s Right for You?

“Should I stay or should I go?” So go the lyrics from the English punk rock band, The Clash, in a song about one couple’s dilemma over whether to stay together or break up.

The same question might just as well apply to another dilemma—this one pertaining to people considering treatment for substance abuse. At a time when telemedicine is revolutionizing mental health services, bringing talk therapy into the home via online videoconferencing and other mobile technologies, is it better to travel for treatment or stay put?

What Powers Telehealth? Women!!

Charlotte Yeh, MD moderating with panelists Paula Guy, Julie Hall-Barrow, EdD, Susan Dentzer, Kristi Hendersen, DNP, NP-BC, FAEN

We all know that telehealth is driven by the desire to make affordable healthcare available to anyone, anytime, anywhere, and that advances in technology have facilitated the effort. But what powers telehealth and even healthcare general? At the American Telemedicine Association’s Annual Meeting (April 23-25, 2017 in Orlando, FL) the answer was clear – women!