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Southwest Telehealth Resource Center Blog

It is a new dawn for public health in the United States. As you may know, the public health system is currently undergoing a very rapid change in response to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the epidemiological transition occurring in our Nation. At the same time, the public health workforce is aging and an expected 250,000 positions will need to be replaced by 2020.

It’s a long way and lots of hours flying from Tucson, AZ to Muscat, Oman but I had the great opportunity and pleasure to attend the 7th International Conference on Health Issues in Arab Communities with five of my colleagues from the University of Arizona.

It has taken quite a while, but the FDA has finally released a document that may help pave the way for whole slide imaging pathology system approval. On February 25th they released the “Technical Performance Assessment of Digital Pathology Whole Slide Imaging Devices Draft Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff”.

We all know telemedicine works, that patients and providers like it, and that outcomes are increasingly being shown to be positive on a wide variety of measures. There are also lots of studies looking at patient groups and assessing whether they would accept and use telemedicine services. Most of these however are focused on a dedicated group of patients (e.g., the elderly, those with COPD) and don’t really capture the bigger picture.

Can you imagine the ATA meeting’s 100th anniversary? Will there still be an ATA? Will we still be making the distinction between “traditional medicine” and “telemedicine”? One would certainly hope not and we can only speculate on what healthcare will even be like in 2093 (ATA was formed in 1993). But if there was an ATA 2093 what would it look like? Impossible to tell of course but maybe another 100th anniversary meeting has parallels to share.

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