Necessity to drive telehealth adoption?

By John Farrell
09:05 AM

Telehealth has been claiming its rightful place in the headlines over the past couple months, with news of regional funding for telehealth networks and the arrival of new telemedicine technologies becoming an almost daily occurrence. Now that an estimated one-third of the nation’s best and brightest physicians are eyeing the exits, we can expect telehealth’s role in healthcare to really pick up steam. Necessity is still the mother of all invention.

On the bright side, there’s the technology. The latest partnership effort to remind us that videoconferencing is the future comes from none other than Verizon Business and Cisco. The Verizon Immersive Video Conferencing Service for Cisco TelePresence was announced yesterday and will be ready for use by April, according to a Healthcare IT News report.
 
In a nutshell, it creates a platform upon which users can create face-to-face video meetings between parties in different locations. The idea is to pair Verizon’s portfolio of communications and collaboration solutions with Cisco’s TelePresence technology.
 
No doubt, the offering will hold broad appeal for many business users under pressure to lower their costs, but it could potentially fill an important role in healthcare as well, given the dramatic increase in telemedicine and telehealth projects.
 
As I wrote back in August:
 
Telecom service providers have always targeted the healthcare industry with specialized solutions, but two specific trends are shifting attention to the telehealth and telemedicine markets in a major way: The health care industry’s need to use IT and telecom to operate more efficiently, and an aging population’s need and desire to use remote health care monitoring to promote better care for the chronically ill in their own homes.
 
Add to that what is likely to be a growing need to improve clinical decision making going forward, and we’ve made the case for why telehealth is bound to explode once the platforms are established and sustainability has been proven.

 

John Farrell blogs daily at MobileHealthWatch.com.

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