Medicine could and can happen outside the hospital. We build medical centers that provide the best specialists and the best care for patients. However, these medical centers are out of reach for many people for different reasons: they live too far from them; they are old or sick to travel to these institutions. Health IT tools can help overcome these obstacles.

Emory Healthcare in Atlanta found an innovative way to use telemedicine, nurses and patients alike benefit from their program. Using telemedicine, the caregivers can cover the challenging night shifts by working during the day in Perth, Australia. The remote team from Australia is connected with monitoring equipment to ICU patients, and they can watch in real time what’s happening with them. In the background specialized health analytics stay on, helping the team spot even small changes, like heart rate fluctuation, so they can alert bedside nurses even before an emergency happens.

Telehealth, telemedicine is a collection of services and tools that deliver healthcare in non-accessible areas, or for people who cannot move easily. For example, remote elderly monitoring services connect houses and patients with health institutions that offer quick help in a crisis. They came in handy also in everyday scenarios like medication management or even grocery shopping.

Telepsychiatry is a booming subset of telemedicine and involves a range of services like psychiatric evaluations, therapy (for individuals, groups or family), patient education and even medication management. A psychiatric service delivered with IT tools, like Skype or FaceTime has several advantages over traditional services including reduced time off work, less stigma, and better access to quality mental health care.

However, the primary use case of telemedicine is to provide health care services in remote areas. These healthcare deserts are scarcely populated, but these people need medical services, and these services are better delivered via telehealth services. The telehealth service is provided at patients’ home or at specialized centers, where at least a licensed nurse is working.

A lot of diagnostic tools have portable versions, meaning remote doctors can form their diagnosis based not just on symptoms, but on actual data. For example, Butterfly IQ developed small, mobile ultrasound equipment, that is connected to a smartphone. For 1700 pounds for the tool and 360 pounds per year for the software is the most inexpensive tool in its category.

MobileODT has designed a battery-powered, hand-held colposcope called the EVA System, which can take high-quality images of the cervix. The company in association with the National Cancer Institute developed a machine learning algorithm that produces an accurate diagnosis in minutes.

Also, we are proud, that a Hungarian company, 77 Elektronika Kft. has developed a compact, portable smart tester for emergency units, that can confirm the diagnosis on site within minutes based on blood tests.

If you have even more questions about telehealth systems than we, here at Netis are happy to assist you with our specialized knowledge.

Author: Laszlo Varga