Air Force 'encouraged' by new behavioral telehealth technology

By Healthcare IT News
03:22 PM

Behavior Imaging Solutions – a technology firm focused on more effectively assessing, treating and training professionals working with autism, brain disorders and PTSD – announced Thursday the results of its recent telehealth-based operational assessment, conducted on behalf of the U.S. Air Force Medical Service.

The study, involving 33 military families with at least one child with autism, assessed the effectiveness of the company’s online consultation platform to facilitate remote access to applied behavior analysis (ABA) services through a proprietary video capture system connected to a HIPAA-compliant Web server.

During the three-month assessment, families and caregivers used behavior imaging technology in the home to record, annotate and share ABA therapy sessions or the child’s behavior on video, which were then reviewed and annotated remotely by certified ABA therapy supervisors at four autism service agencies. Pre-and-post- assessment surveys were administered to families and therapists to evaluate the technology’s effectiveness.

Those assessment surveys demonstrated that, when the therapist and families are both actively engaged in the treatment process, the benefits of behavior imaging technology include:

  • Significant time and expense savings for therapist and family
  • More relevant information communicated to caregiver and therapist
  • Better understanding of complex behaviors by therapist supervisor
  • More accurate assessments of behavioral trends and progress
  • More effective supervision and training of therapists in the field

"The results of this operational assessment are encouraging," said retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel Timothy Lacy, MD, who served as chief of telehealth for USAF Medical Service from 2005 to 2010. "They suggest that behavior imaging technology can help military families and providers who must understand and treat children with complex neurobehavioral disorders such as autism.

"Unfortunately," he said, "many families have limited access to certified behavioral healthcare providers and therapists. This technology partially addresses that problem by providing remote access to expert professional supervision and therapy.”

“We’re very encouraged by the findings of the Operational Assessment for these military families with a child with autism," said Ron Oberleitner, CEO of Behavior Imaging Solutions. "We are also excited to see behavior imaging being used by the military to support Virtual Reality care for soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder, and we believe our technology may help improve access to care for patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, ALS, stroke and anxiety. Further, the potential scope of this technology includes primary care treatment and referral, special education, medication management and a range of supervision and training applications.”

Oberleitner added: "Similar to echocardiograms, CT and MRI scans, and other traditional tools used for internal body imaging, behavior imaging has the potential to become the standard imaging modality for behavioral and mental health conditions.”

The company is already involved in a number of telehealth projects related to a broad range of market needs. In addition to the U.S. Department of Defense, clients include public and private schools and universities, state-wide school systems, and behavioral healthcare facilities located in 30 states and 6 countries overseas.

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