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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.

How Telepsychiatry Is Increasing Access to Care

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.

Artificial Intelligence & Teleradiology: Like It or Leave It?

Practically everywhere you turn today, AI, or artificial intelligence, (aka deep learning and machine learning) pops up as the must have, coolest thing since robots and thinking machines were first introduced in popular literature and films. After all, who doesn’t want a car that can sense when it’s safe to change lanes, stop before hitting the deer in the road and even drive itself?

There is little doubt that AI already has and will continue to revolutionize the world and thereby healthcare. For example, the past five years at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting -- the world’s largest radiology meeting, attracting over 50,000 people to Chicago -- have seen an explosion in the number of vendors promoting AI in their products, and the number of scientific talks and courses on the topic. The 2018 meeting in November was no exception – I swear, every single vendor must have had “AI” advertised somewhere on their booth. Throughout the meeting sessions, AI, deep learning and machine learning topics permeated presentations.

4th Annual Service Provider Summit – If You Missed It You Missed a Lot!

The 4th Annual Telemedicine & Telehealth Service Provider Summit (SPS https://ttspsworld.com/), sponsored by the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) and Southwest Telehealth Resource Center (SWTRC), was held October 8-9 in Glendale, AZ, and attracted an all-time high of nearly 400 attendees! SPS continues to be unique in its intent to bring together telemedicine service providers and users in a collaborative and interactive venue that provides the opportunity to learn from each other. SPS, as in past years, was organized and hosted by Drs. Dale Alverson, Elizabeth Krupinski, and Ronald Weinstein. The ATP team contributed innumerable hours (especially Nancy Rowe and Kris Erps), support, and enthusiasm to put the meeting on and deserves many kudos and thanks (Cassandra Coray, Ellen Dudzik, Kris Erps, Mike Holcomb, Angel Holtrust, Bob Kerr, Janet Major, Chris Martin, Karen Miller, Nancy Rowe, Tracy Skinner)!

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.

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.

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.

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.  

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.

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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