The Telemedicine Reporter – International Edition – October 28, 2011


UCSD unveils Center for the Future of Surgery

Every year, millions of patients undergo lifesaving surgeries. The outcome of each procedure is driven by dynamic factors such as the patient’s health, drugs and instruments used, team communication, and the wisdom of the surgeon’s hand. To advance safety and innovation in today’s operating rooms, the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego has unveiled the Center for the Future of Surgery (CFoS) ─ the largest state-of-the art facility in the nation dedicated to catalyzing novel surgical technologies, techniques and teaching methods. The Center for the Future of Surgery can spur these interactions by bringing surgeons, engineers, scientists and designers into one room, outside the OR, to refine everything from laparoscopic cameras to robotics.”

N.Y. health insurers seek to keep premium memos secret

Major health insurance companies seeking steep premium increases in New York have submitted memos to state officials to justify the higher rates. Now they are fighting to keep the memos from the public, saying they include trade secrets that competitors could use against them.

‘Building Sustainable Surgical Systems’ conference to be held in San Diego

To address strategies for improving surgical care in low-income countries, the UC San Diego School of Medicine and Rady Children’s Hospital will host a joint Alliance for Surgery and Anesthesia (ASAP) and World Health Organization Global Initiative for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care (GIEESC) meeting November 9-11, 2011, in San Diego. More than 75 experts from the world’s top hospitals and health organizations will offer timely information on the global anesthesia crisis, how to prioritize surgical conditions in the public health arena, the role of academic, private, and non-governmental partnerships, quality improvement in resource-poor settings, advancement of telemedicine, and how to quantify epidemiological surgical issues.

International Telemedicine Congress

Telemedicine has gained prominence as a channel to extend access to healthcare to every individual – a reality in India. The Telemedicine Society of India (TSI) is celebrating 10 years and organizing its 7th International Telemedicine Congress, featuring healthcare leaders from all over the world in the field of tele-health & m-Health to discuss and deliberate on the road map for the way forward. The three-day conference-cum exhibition will be held from November 11-13, 2011 in Mumbai, Maharashtra

The 7th annual Congress is a mega international event, with the theme “Tele-health 2.0 – Taking beyond the Pilot Phase” and “Leveraging Technology for Chronic Diseases Management” this year. This International Congress is being supported by national telemedicine associations of over 32 countries including the American Telemedicine Association, ISFTEH, Care Continuum Alliance, and Disease Management Association of India among many others. The Congress is expecting over 600 delegates from over 30 countries. The three day congress will have speakers from USA, Europe, Middle East and India, and will include over 600 practitioners, providers, payers, patient groups and policy makers. The whole idea behind this international congress is to bring people with common interests on the same platform, showcase commercially employable tele-health solutions and come out with actionable inputs for the policy makers, industry and practitioners.

Coordinated Care Developments

CMS launched an initiative to help people with chronic mental illnesses, substance abuse disorders, and other chronic conditions receive a new level of coordinated healthcare. The Affordable Care Act now provides new flexibility and resources for State Medicaid programs to provide new health home services for people with chronic conditions. States with approved proposals will receive enhanced 90 percent federal matching funds to support this initiative for two years. The Advance Payment Model will provide additional support to physician-owned and rural providers participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program so they would also benefit from additional start-up resources to build the necessary infrastructure, such as new staff or IT systems. The advanced payments would be recovered from any future shared savings achieved by the ACO.

Addressing Online Therapy

In mental health, new technologies are very exciting, allowing mental health professionals to responsibly deliver needed services to people who otherwise would not get help. By using the right videoconferencing technology, telehealth has been proven to be safe and effective, client satisfaction is high, and insurance companies are starting to pay for such services including Medicare and Medicaid.

Telemedicine Center Opens in Albania

Dr. Sali Berisha, Prime Minister of Albania, and Alexander Arvizu U.S. Ambassador to Albania, attended the opening of the USAID funded National Telemedicine Center of Albania located at the Mother Theresa University Hospital Center (TUHC). In addition there are five regional telemedicine centers located in Kukes, Shkoder, Durres, Korce, and Vlore.The Center will serve as the foundation for a national telemedicine and e-health network covering Albania that will directly address the issue of rural access to patients and their care along with medical education for health professionals. The U.S. based International Virtual e-Hospital (IVeH) developed and built the National Telemedicine Center of Albania as part of the Integrated Telemedicine and e-Health Program of Albania.

ISfTeH Telenursing Working Group

The new ICn eHealthProgram, aims to transform nursing through the visionary application of information and communication technology.  With policies and strategies applicable to ICN’s internal programs and external partnerships, the ICN eHealth program seeks to advance nurses’ knowledge of and involvement in eHealth worldwide.  The program encompasses the International Classification for Nursing Practice (ICNP), a terminology that supports standard description and comparison of nursing practice locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, and the ICN Telenursing Network which aims to involve and support nurses in the development and use of telehealth technologies.  The Telenursing Network, which was launched in 2009, now has more than 170 members representing more than 50 countries.

Strategic Analysis of the European Telemedicine Market

The legal implications pertinent to cross-border telemedicine should be refined and clarified. This will be critical to the geographic expansion of telemedicine and the realization of its full potential in delivering effective healthcare. Understanding patient needs and providing them with all the necessary information will help in boosting confidence levels. Employing techniques such as the digital signature in teleradiology has already helped address data security challenges. Similarly, innovative solutions will help overcome linguistic issues and technology constraints, while improving acceptance and penetration rates. Most importantly, telemedicine market participants should thrive to bridge the gap in effective healthcare delivery and the cost incurred. Telehealth centres launched

Australian Telehealth centers launched

The rural health team, Mid North Health, in partnership with the Australian Institute of Male Health Studies (AIMHS) is piloting four telehealth centers in the medical centers situated at Booleroo Centre, Orroroo, Jamestown and Peterborough. This new service will provide timely, accessible, face to face health information and counseling (via the internet) using the latest technology for men and their families. Information sessions have been delivered in these four locations. The service is offered through easy to use computer webcam technology where men seeking professional assistance are able to speak face to face with an experienced, registered health professional who is accredited by the institute based on their ability to understand and work respectfully and effectively with males.

Using technology to check on patients not in the office or hospital, and treat.

Telemedicine is used by numerous major hospitals now to carry medical expertise out into the field via computer, cameras, phones and any other technology you can likely imagine. Doctors and nurses may monitor intensive care patients remotely, for example, and alert staff on site. Stroke patients, for example, in areas where there may not be specialists in the flesh, may still get expert treatment through telemedicine. Via cameras in clinics and hospital rooms, remote medical staff may zoom in for a look at symptoms, how patients are healing, and chat with patient. The increase in the use of telemedicine is considered an improvement in health care, for example in rural areas where typically it is difficult to keep personnel or access treatment. Additionally, telemedicine can provide preventative treatment or earlier detection—a plus in patient health and huge in cost-savings for treatment.

Upcoming Telemedicine Events

2nd Annual Health 2.0 Europe

Berlin, Germany – Oct 27-28, 2011

Nationaler Fachkongress Telemedizin

Berlin, Germany – Nov 3-4, 2011

Telemedicon ’11 – International Telemedicine Congress

Mumbai, India – Nov 11-13, 2011

2011 E-Health and Bioengineering Conference (EHB)

Iasi, Romania – Nov 24-26, 2011

AFRIHealth 2011

Nairbi, Kenya –Nov 30 – Dec 1, 2011

2nd World Health Care Congress Middle East 2011

Abu Dhabi, UAE – Dec 11-13, 2011

Med-e-Tel 2012

Luxembourg – April 18-20, 2012

World Health Care Congress Europe

Amsterdam, Netherlands –

May 23-24, 2012

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