The use of telehealth technology is increasing as more insurers and employers begin to cover virtual physician consultation services. Proponents say such services could help ease the primary care physician shortage and are less costly than other in-person visits. Wall Street Journal.
The Federal Communications Commission's new Healthcare Connect Fund will provide up to $400 million annually to support broadband access nationwide, particularly for rural health care providers. The fund also aims to support telehealth initiatives. AHA News, FCC release.
To promote state legislation that advances telehealth and mobile health technologies, the American Telemedicine Association has partnered with three minority legislative caucuses. ATA says telehealth is proven to help underserved populations. Healthcare IT News.
A study finds that hospitals can achieve cost savings by participating in a telehealth network for stroke care. The study is based on data from telestroke networks run by the Mayo Clinic and Georgia Health Sciences University. FierceHealthIT, Clinical Innovation & Technology.
Advocates say a proposed rule in Georgia to require physicians to examine patients before mid-level practitioners could provide care via telemedicine would limit access to care. The Georgia Composite Medical Board will vote on the measure on Thursday. Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
AT&T has released its predictions for the five biggest health IT trends of 2013. The company predicts that more health care data will be stored in cloud-based systems and that there will be a significant growth in the use of telehealth tools. EHR Intelligence, NextGov's "Health IT Update."
A study finds that doctors are less likely to order tests and more likely to prescribe antibiotics when they treat a patient through an online consultation. The authors warned that overuse of antibiotics could lead to a rise in drug-resistant bacteria. FierceHealthIT, Modern Healthcare.
An American Journal of Public Health study finds that an Iowa-based telehealth program that provided patients with medication abortion did not increase the number of abortions in the state. However, the program did expand access to abortion services. Des Moines Register.
NFL doctors and trainers now have access to a range of health IT tools -- such as video replays, digital X-rays and iPad concussion assessments -- to help them diagnose and treat athletes. The league hopes to implement a cloud-based electronic health record system next season. New York Times.
A report from Frost & Sullivan states that the telehealth market is poised for growth. According to the report, the top areas for growth in the telehealth market include disease management monitoring, remote physician services and personal emergency response systems. Healthcare IT News.
Many small and remote hospitals are using telehealth technology to improve patient access to specialists while reducing costs. However, widespread adoption of the technology is hindered by state licensing regulations, reimbursement issues and other challenges. New York Times.
A study led by the Mayo Clinic Telestroke Network in Arizona finds that when remote physicians are evaluating stroke patients, viewing medical images on a smartphone is about as effective as viewing such images on a desktop computer. Clinical Innovation & Technology et al.
A consortium of six states has released a report on incorporating health information exchange into disaster preparedness efforts. The report calls for states to develop procedures to share data across state lines before a disaster occurs. Clinical Innovation & Technology et al.
Hospitals are using innovative technologies such as robots to improve patient care and increase efficiency. Other technologies being used in hospitals include hand-washing sensors and digital assistants that can store large volumes of medical data. Los Angeles Times.
Yesterday, HHS and the Department of Veterans Affairs announced a joint effort to improve care coordination and expand access to care for veterans living in rural areas. To support the project, the Health Resources and Services Administration is administering $983,100 in grants to enhance telehealth networks and health data exchanges. Becker's Hospital Review, Healthcare IT News.