The Cleveland Clinic will host a one-day virtual conference later this month that’s designed bring in experts from the nation’s top medical research institutions to discuss telehealth collaboration.
Medical research institutions are on the front lines in examining how telehealth can be used to improve patient care. Now they’re getting their own virtual summit to tackle the biggest barriers to telehealth adoption.
The Cleveland Clinic will be hosting a virtual “un-meeting” later this month that’s aimed at drawing in care providers and researchers from the more than 50 institutions that participate in the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program, overseen by the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.
The event is designed to foster discussion among the experts who are up to their elbows in connected health research and application – and who are experiencing first-hand the barriers and problems that are slowing the industry down.
“It’s less about talking about what things are going right and more about addressing the gaps,” says Marisa McGinley, DO, a neurologist with the Cleveland Clinic who led the effort to secure CTSA funding for the event.
Because of the rapid pace in which telehealth has been adopted to address the coronavirus pandemic, she says, “we haven’t had a lot of time to get together and really delve into … the challenges we’re all facing. This gives us a chance to talk.”
“Tackling the Digital Divide to Improve Telehealth,” scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET on Friday, March 26, is being described as an “un-meeting” because, McGinley says, too many meetings nowadays consist of a few people talking and everyone else listening. Her goal is to give some experts the spotlight for a few minutes to identify the problem, then open the virtual floor to conversation and, ideally, collaboration.
Clinical Translational Science Centers “are doing a lot of the research right now” on how telehealth and mHealth technology is being used, she says. And they’re collaborating with other stakeholders, including health systems and hospitals.
“We need to know what data we need to tackle these issues,” she says. More importantly, “we also need to know what we should be looking at. We can’t fix the gaps in care if we don’t even know they exist.”
To identify those issues, McGinley has invited experts from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the RAND Corporation, the MAVEN Project, Ohio State, the Cleveland Clinic, the University of Rochester and the American Telemedicine Association. Topics will include telehealth in clinical use, remote patient monitoring, payer perspectives, patient participation in telehealth programs, senior care services and telehealth for chronic care management and substance abuse treatment.
“The most tangible outcome of this will be connecting people to build collaborations,” she says, “so that we can break through these barriers.”