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Technology

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.

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.

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.

Patient Data Breaches: Threat to Health IT & Telemedicine in 2016 and Beyond

$363. That’s how much a single stolen patient health record is worth on the dark market, according to data from the Ponemon Institute, making it worth more than any other piece of data from any other industry. In fact, your medical information is worth 10 times more than your credit card number.

As healthcare becomes increasingly more digital through EHR adoption and telemedicine applications, the information systems the data runs on are becoming more vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Telesimulation: Increasing Learning Opportunities, from Middle School Students to First Responders and Health-Care Experts

When middle-school students seem unsure of their ability to pursue a career in health care, Allan Hamilton, MD, professor of surgery and director of the Arizona Simulation Technology and Education Center (ASTEC), has a quick response.

“Do you know how to play video games,” he asks. “Well, yeah, of course,” the student will say. “Well, that’s who we’re looking for now,” Hamilton replies. “People who are tech savvy, know how to be good members of a team, and are compassionate. If you meet those qualifications, you’re a candidate for a career in healthcare.”

The way young folks adapt to the virtual world of games like “Minecraft” and “Heroes of the Storm” seems to transfer well to practicing laparoscopy and other simulated procedures in the ASTEC lab.

The Blue Ocean Strategy and Medical Malls

Medical offices typically cluster doctors’ offices into a multi-tenant medical malls. Similar to retail malls that offer a myriad of shops, medical malls cluster doctors of different specialties under one roof. Such an arrangement offers shared resources (common areas) for practitioners and convenience for the consumer. Although the size of a medical office varies somewhat based on specialty, the required square footage is typically based on space needed for waiting rooms, clinic space and common areas.

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