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mHealth

Universality Of Mankind

Chaco Canyon located in northwestern New Mexico

A great thing about America's Southwest is the diversity of its people.  Although many cultures call it home, it truly is Indian Country. The Navajo Nation with over 300,000 population encompasses more than 27,000 square miles of the states of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.  Along with several other tribes and pueblos, they have a dominating presence.  Many of us in healthcare deal with this wonderful group of people on a daily basis. My personal experiences with them have been very rewarding and enlightening.  Over the years I have learned much and developed a high regard and respect for their way and philosophy of life.

It is fascinating how similar their beliefs are to many old world cultures and customs.  It clearly is a testament to the universality of mankind.

Smart Ways to Get Peace of Mind With Aging Parents

With a large generation entering retirement and quickly approaching their senior years, a growing segment of the population is seeking ways to stay in touch with, and care for, their loved ones. The good news is that today’s smart home technology makes it simple to care for aging parents, whether they live with you or are hundreds of miles away. Here are a few key functions and products to consider that can provide peace of mind.

Spreading information to prevent complications in fragile infants: the NEC-Zero project

Rebecca Quintero watches over her daughter, Aurelia, in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Imagine that you just delivered a baby three months early and are sitting in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) next to an plastic box (i.e. an incubator) supporting the child who was nestled safely within the womb just 12 hours ago. Tiny and translucent, your new hero is fighting for life with all 1 pound 4 ounces of his being. Though connected to machines to help him breathe, stay warm, and nourished, the alarms and noise of the monitors make you wonder what is going wrong.  Work that your body was doing 12 hours ago has now been completely handed off to a team of strangers, medical professionals that are kind and highly skilled, but are completely new to you.

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 (https://www.emoryhealthcare.org/physicians/e/esper-gregory.html).

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