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The Promise of Telemedicine
By: Jacques von Speyer – Chairman – CEO, US Tele-Medicine
Technology and communication channels exist today in such capacities that basic medical care may be provided to virtually Eighty Percent of the world population. That is a fact.
Family Medicine and all of its attending disciplines is the foothold of public and societal health. That too is a fact.
“Tele-Family Medicine” is the ultimate promise of Telemedicine worldwide.
The Family Medicine practitioner enjoys the greatest impact on community wellness and effective prevention in all of health care. These paramount discretions which when employed correctly saves lives, prevents illness, reduces costs and provides a management tool for the prodigious benefits found in continuation of care programs, on a mass basis.
These operational truths remain scalable from a small HMO population to a regional and national effort.
Telemedicine is the single rational modality for providing Mass E-Care to millions of families. Specifically for the multi-millions living within remote, underserved, urban, and disenfranchised populations.
Most recent Telemedicine endeavors have centered upon condition specific efforts such as Tele-Dermatology, Tele-Wound, Tele-Psychiatry, Tele-Cardiac, etc. Regrettably, very little effort, other than those of US Tele-Medicine, was invested to encompass basic, primary, and preventative care into new Telemedicine protocols and devices.
Current telehealth efforts mistakenly emulate today’s existing and failing healthcare model by focusing on Specialty Care. The trend however must promote Mass E-Care and recognizing that holistic/primary Family Medicine is the veritable cornerstone for any nation or society seeking a healthy foundation.
RPM (Remote Patient Monitoring) services using telemetric devices in patient’s homes are now becoming more the accepted and the preferred mode of managing some chronic conditions. These efforts are reporting excellent results with patient hospital readmission reduced, costly emergency room visits have decreased, and patients enjoy a measurable increase in wellness.
This is only the prologue. Device manufacturers are better served to consider initiating Family Medicine and preventative protocols into their programming. Most current RPM systems are robust enough to accommodate such indoctrination.
Of course, simply monitoring without the facility to access and initiate immediate medical intervention, limits the scope and effectiveness of the devices. US Tele-Medicine does provide 24 hour per day MD oversight at our National Triage Center, assuring our patients of immediate response to their needs.
The goal for US Tele-Medicine, our staff, and Medical Advisory Board is to merge Telemedicine protocols and devices with Family Medicine measures. New guidelines and strategies for incorporating Mass E-Care into the world of Family Medicine and basic care, which are so fundamental to the current and future general health of any population, are now in development.
Irrespective of politics, health care does need reform and new stratagems specifically when we consider increasing costs and while our birth rates have receded somewhat, we are living longer and incurring greater incidents of chronic diseases. There is also the daunting reality that soon, we shall be incorporating over Thirty Million new people into our health care rolls.
It is incumbent upon all of us in Health Care to provide a direct and personal channel for access to primary, cohesive, and coordinated medical care. We need to use monitoring devices and medical technologies linked to broadband, phone, cellular, or satellite systems, and deliver these services directly into the homes of families anywhere and almost everywhere.
US Tele-Medicine remains at the forefront in global health care telehealth advances, with its committed efforts to provide Mass E-Care and Family Medical care, using the latest in telemedicine technologies and applications. We encourage and call upon medical device manufacturers and medical providers and join us, by undertaking immediate steps within their areas of influence to shape the tenets of Family Medicine into their future technologies and modalities. The need is evident.
The Promise of Telemedicine is the facility to provide Mass E-Care and will be fulfilled when a patient in the remote plains of the Dakotas, or on the banks of the Colorado River, can enjoy access to basic and primary medical care at the touch of a button. Collectively, we can reach this level of service in the very near future, and ensure our population of the medical support required and desired through life.