Technology

5 Tips for Preparing Your Child for a Telemedicine Visit

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The coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives in many ways. Adapting to the “new normal” can be difficult, I know. However, now we have enough technological solutions to continue many of our regular activities. For instance, we’re getting used to working from home and ordering takeout. I stay in touch with my friends and relatives thanks to video calls, and I even purchased weights to work out at home. Is there anything we can’t do from home? For instance, what can you do if you or your child feel sick?

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.

Telecommuting: US workers are adjusting from office to home

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Telecommuting, sometimes referred to as telework or working from home (WFH), got off to a slow start in the U.S. in the 1970s. With a viral pandemic forcing workers to consider the risk of infection from proximity to co-workers, nearly half of US workers have locked their office doors and headed for home. That’s more than twice as many as those telecommuting, at least occasionally, from 2017 through 2018, according to the Brookings Institution, a non-profit public -policy organization based in Washington, D.C.

COVID-19: Opportunities in a Time of Crisis?

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There is no doubt that COVID-19 has disrupted our healthcare systems and the general population worldwide in a host of ways no one could have imagined just 6 months ago. On a regular basis, we hear on the news stories about how many cases there are, how many deaths, where to get tested, hot spots, how healthcare disparities contribute to certain populations being more vulnerable than others, and how we need to social distance, wash our hands and wear masks.

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.

Why isn’t Telemedicine Mainstream

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My introduction to telemedicine was in 8th grade, while I was taking a medical science course with Dr. Weinstein, to prove that the medical school curriculum could be integrated earlier into the American school system. I remember thinking, “Wow, this is one of the coolest applications of technology, why aren’t more people using it?” It wasn’t until my sophomore year at the UofA I reconnected with Dr. Weinstein and started to explore the answer to that question I asked many years ago. As I continued to work with Dr. Weinstein I began to realize the answer to that question was more nuanced than my 8th grade self would have thought. By analyzing the Arizona Telemedicine Council (ATC), which is a non-statutory advisory council to the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP), for a paper on the relationship between telemedicine and governance it shed light on the legal, financial, and practical barriers of telemedicine.

Arizona Telemedicine Program Rapidly Responds to Coronavirus Pandemic

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Online Course: “Developing Telemedicine Services” Open Enrollment The national award-winning Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP), headquartered at the University of Arizona Health Sciences in Tucson, Arizona, will conduct a major, online training program regarding the COVID-19 pandemic for health-care providers, administrators, and educators, titled: “Developing Telemedicine Services,” on Monday, March 23, 2020. “Telemedicine is a key capability for healthcare providers and the community they serve to slow the spread of the COVID-19,” notes Ronald S. Weinstein, MD, a pioneer in telemedicine and founding director of the Arizona Telemedicine Program. The ATP has been producing in-person telemedicine and telehealth training programs for the past 20 years. Thousands of individuals, from hundreds of healthcare organizations, have attended these programs and given them high marks. “Now, in response to the COVID-19 pardemic, we are taking the course online for the first time.” He added, “Obviously, this will open the session to a far larger audience, filling an urgent need at this time.”

Challenges to Expect In Telemedicine App Development

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The healthcare industry seems to be booming by leaps and bounds – in good part due to Telemedicine app development. More and more organizations are seeking different ways, such as e-healthcare, to reduce costs and improve patient care. Being a subset of telehealth, telemedicine uses a broad range of modern technologies and specializes in providing medical services from a distance with the help of software and communication tools.