Publisher’s Note: A new possibility in telemedicine

Publisher’s Note: A new possibility in telemedicine

 

Here at Central Florida Doctor we are always keeping an eye out for some interesting stories to share. Recently, we came across an interesting bit of information for an exciting piece of technology on the forefront of the medical industry.

Telemedicine is a term that may become more and more familiar in the ever-changing world of healthcare. It may provide a much-needed boost in technology and be a tangible way to lower patient’s costs. One of the main focuses of telemedicine is allowing people to monitor their own health and send results to nurses on the lookout for any abnormalities.

While this technology is certainly not a replacement for the doctor, it will allow certain people to avoid unneeded trips to the doctor or hospital. The system works by providing patients with a daily series of basic health questions, while also having the ability to check weight, blood pressure, pulse measurement, and blood-oxygen levels. The questions asked by the device may include inquiries about whether or not the person is tired, if they have noticed any swelling, or if their medicines have been changed recently. If any abnormalities are noticed, the nurse monitoring the system will call the patient and physician and provide further instructions.

Many of the proponents for this system cite benefits to both patient and provider. One of the biggest benefits to patients is avoiding a trip to the emergency room. Also, a Yale-New Haven study found that heart patients saved around $9,500 in readmission costs while using the system.

There is some room for improvement, however. Currently, neither Medicare nor private insurers are paying additional amounts for the telemedicine systems. It may not make sense for hospitals or private practices to participate in the program without financial assistance.

Make sure you stay tuned to future editions of Central Florida Doctor for some more interesting and informative stories that keep healthcare in focus.

 

Categories: Doctor News, Dr Columns