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News & Events

Heading Into 2019 - Hopes & Expectations for Telehealth

2018 had many successes in the telehealth arena – check out some of our past blogs for highlights! There is, however, still much to be accomplished, so looking forward we asked our colleagues around the country what they are looking forward to in 2019. We hope you find some inspiration, new directions and novel ideas in these thoughts to help guide your 2019 adventures in telehealth!

Elizabeth A Krupinski, Ph.D.
Co-Director, Southwest Telehealth Resource Center
The SWTRC is looking forward to watching trends in artificial intelligence (AI) and how it can not only impact Telehealth and healthcare in general, but how AI companies and investigators will effectively and efficiently integrate AI into the clinical information environment and workflow. Being embedded in an academic environment also provides us with some unique opportunities to partner on grants with others developing and expanding their Telehealth footprint, and the SWTRC looks forward to be a vital part of these grants and helping provide training and related Telehealth expertise.

Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, FCAP, FATA
Co-Director, Southwest Telehealth Resource Center
I'm looking forward to leveraging the vast potential that emerging 5G mobile cellular phone technologies promise to deliver to the health care industry.  5G delivers gigabit speeds, reduced latency, higher system capacity, and the massive device connectivity needed for optimizing personalized patient care. 5G networks will enable new classes of digital technologies aimed at improving treatment outcomes. Telehealth's "e-classrooms–of-the future" will promote greater patient participation in their personal healthcare teams while addressing, at the same time, the need for significant improvements in US population health literacy across the entire country.

SEARCH 2018 – Proving the Power of Telehealth Research

Members of the National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers attend and participated at the SEARCH2018

The 2018 SEARCH (Society for Education and the Advancement of Research in Connected Health) meeting was the first held by this group of dedicated telehealth researchers since the Society was formed earlier this year. The meeting was jointly organized and hosted by SEARCH, the West Health Institute and the National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers (NCTRC). It was held at the West Health facilities in San Diego, CA October 24th and 25th. About 150 people attended from a wide variety of backgrounds and there were 47 presenters, all with a passion for proving (or disproving) the benefits of connected health through the conduct of rigorous investigations.

Tailoring telehealth programs to kids

Children have long been recognized as a population with significant challenges accessing medical care, most notably due to a limited number of pediatric specialists who are concentrated at children’s hospitals in urban settings. And the very nature of face-to-face, traditional health care may place a disproportionate burden on low-income and rural based families.

This is particularly true in the large geographic region served by Children’s Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Top 20: SWTRC States Listed Among Telehealth’s “Most Progressive”

The Southwest Telehealth Resource Center has scored a hit!

Or, you might say, five hits!

 Established in 2009 by the Arizona Telemedicine Program, with funding from the federal Health Resources and Service Administration’s Office for the Advancement of Telehealth, SWTRC serves telehealth programs in five southwestern states: Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.

Where Has All The Telemedicine Research Gone?

Have you been to any telemedicine meetings lately and wondered what’s happened to the basic research presentations? Surely it can’t be that we’ve solved all the challenges and finally proved to everyone that telemedicine really does have all the advantages we’ve been touting for years. 

No, there’s still a lot to discover and basic research is alive and well. The reality is that times change as do societies, tradeshows and conferences. It’s not a bad thing and there are lots of very useful, educational and productive telehealth meetings to choose from and attend. It all depends on what you are looking for. For example, the Service Provider Summit (SPS https://ttspsworld.com/) is a great national conference focusing on linking telemedicine and telehealth service provider companies with hospitals, healthcare systems, clinics and others who need their services. 

In-Home Telehealth Care for Patients on Medicaid: Coming Soon to a State Near You?

In its spring 2018 update on state telehealth laws and reimbursement policies, the Center for Connected Health Policy reported a patient-friendly trend in telehealth and telemedicine delivery to home-bound patients.  Ten states have revised their policies to recognize a Medicaid patient’s home as an “originating site” – a policy change enacted to improve patients’ access to care.

The 10 states are Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.

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.

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?

Colorado Rural Health Summit: Helping Stakeholders Fill in the Gaps

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to form a partnership to support healthcare access in rural communities.

As a result, since 2012, Leila Samy, Rural Health IT Coordinator, HHS Office of the National Coordinator, has worked with rural communities around the country, organizing statewide meetings to address issues such as healthcare financing, telehealth infrastructure, broadband demands and other topics relevant to establishing and maintaining healthcare access in rural communities.

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