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Patients

Telemedicine brings better outcomes for patients with strokes and chronic disease

Telehealth has become a vital tool to deliver timely and effective medical care, particularly in rural areas.  One hospital in Arizona, Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC), is using telehealth to improve patient satisfaction and treat conditions that would otherwise need the services of a “big-city” hospital.

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.

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.

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.

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.  

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?

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