News & Events

How Was Your First Time?

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No – not that first time! How was your very first telemedicine visit? Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic back in March a significant number of people have had their very first telemedicine visit. Surprisingly, even though I’ve been involved in telehealth for over 30 years, I actually fall into that group of “newbies”. I am very fortunate (knock on wood) to be overall quite healthy. My typical medical routine consists on an annual physical, annual mammogram and dental check-ups every 6 months for the most part. Breaking my leg skiing in 2019 – trust me – that surgery could not have been done remotely and the rehab really required all the cool tools and devices my physical therapist had on site.

Telemedicine Helps Hard-hit Navajo Nation Hospital Deal with the Pandemic

Chinle Service Unit ED using telemedicine tools for poorly visible negative pressure rooms.  Photos courtesy of Stephen Neal
In May, the Navajo Nation surpassed New York and New Jersey for the highest per-capita infection rate of COVID-19 in the US. In an area where 30 to 40 percent of residents don’t have running water and families live together in multigenerational homes, containing the spread has been difficult. In addition, residents can’t stay at home and see a healthcare provider using telemedicine, as so many of us have been able to do during the Public Health Emergency, because there’s little to no cell service or internet availability. So anyone needing healthcare or showing symptoms of COVID-19 has to travel to one of the few healthcare facilities.

Telemedicine: A Whole other Wor(l)d

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Starting off as a fellow with the Arizona Telemedicine Program this past June, it got me more and more interested in the specific jargon of telemedicine. At first I often used terms like “telehealth” and “telemedicine” interchangeably but as I got more heavily involved in the literature I realized they are two distinct terms. Telehealth is a more general term encompassing a larger umbrella of services, like hospital administration and training via technology; while telemedicine specifically refers to clinical services provided at a distance.

Telerehabilitation: Understanding Digital Practice Physical Therapy to Improve Mobility

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In a world of go-go-go, telerehabilitation is a way to slow down and connect with a physical therapist from your own home. This one-on-one video appointment allows a physical therapist to connect virtually using technology such as your smart phone or computer. As a functional movement profession, many people are surprised to hear physical therapy can be done through video. Truth is, this has been done for years.

V.A. Rehabilitation Initiative is Helping Veterans Stay Connected to Their Rehab Programs

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Dr. Valentin Rivish, Director of Telehealth, at the Phoenix Veterans Health Care System, has introduced a telehealth program that will enable Veterans in rehabilitation to continue their physical therapy in their own homes, while connecting with their V.A. health care providers. The program is called V.A. Video Connect.

National Telehealth Research Symposium 2019: Collaboration at its Best

Some members of SEARCH, SPROUT and local NTRS organizing committee at the poster session and networking event.

Successful meetings don’t just happen. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into the planning, organization and execution of these events. The National Telehealth Research Symposium 2019 that was recently held in Chicago is a perfect example of how organizations with common goals can collaborate to create a top-tier meeting (without any vendor support or involvement!) to promote research in connected health and telemedicine. The NTRS 2019 meeting was put together by SEARCH (the Society for Education and the Advancement of Research in Connected Health) and SPROUT (Supporting Pediatric Research on Outcomes and Utilization of Telehealth; a group within the American Academy of Pediatrics). SEARCH’s mission is to promote a platform for researchers, free from commercial bias, to prove the benefits of Connected Health via their annual symposium, with the goal of sharing research findings and to foster collaborations among researchers and organizations who wish to define, develop, and contribute to the field of connected health research. SPROUT’s mission is to promote, develop, and disseminate multicenter value-driven research on pediatric telehealth with the goals of identifying best practices for implementation of pediatric telehealth, determining the impact of telehealth on healthcare quality, and establishing a network of institutions to conduct collaborative research on pediatric telehealth.

Climbing Higher: SWTRC & Colorado Colleagues Host Telehealth Symposium

Picture of audiance at Aurora, CO Telehealth Syposium

The Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) and the SWTRC have been conducting telemedicine training sessions for nearly 20 years and hosting regional telemedicine meetings for at least as long as well. Most have been within the state of Arizona, and although they have attracted attendees from throughout the Southwest region as well as the rest of the nation and world, we felt it’s time to expand our efforts and work more with our long-time partners in the region to promote telemedicine. To aid in this effort, the SWTRC received supplemental funding to our existing grant (as did all the TRCs) from HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration) to co-host telehealth meetings in our designated regional states. First stop – CO!

Seniors Stepping into the World Wide Web

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The idea of having seniors use the internet on a daily basis was something not a lot of people expected. However, as the years went by, even this group couldn’t stay immune to the addictiveness of modern-day technologies and the internet.

More and more, older people today own a smartphone, and for one or another reason, they choose to spend a portion of their time on the internet. How and why they use it are clearly demonstrated in a piece by MediaAlertHelp, which details some reasons for using internet-based health aids and helps us understand some reasons that drive seniors to use technology and the internet, and how they use it.

How Telepsychiatry Is Increasing Access to Care

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There is no other area of my life that I am more passionate about than the accessibility of mental health providers.

Some of the people I love the most live with multiple behavioral health diagnoses and have had life-long battles with addiction. I’ve lost loved ones due to not getting the help they need. I’ve also been on the other end of the phone trying to get someone the help they need and received the frustrating response that appointments are booked out weeks, sometimes even months.