Telemedicine vendor aims to integrate connected devices, wearables
Healthcare IT professionals hear a lot about telemedicine and perhaps even more concerning wearables, just not so frequently about the two combined. But heading into HIMSS15, one vendor is looking to change that.
Annapolis, Md.-based TeleCommunication Systems launched its VirtuMedix platform a year ago to enable providers to reach patients virtually, regardless of location or which device they happen to be using.
VirtuMedix general manager Guy Henggeler said that during the first half of 2015 the vendor will be working on integrating wearable and connected clinical devices, as well as location-based services, into its telemedicine platform.
"That could mean anything from helping locate the patient to providing a point of interest on a map that would be germane to the consult to better serve the patient and provide better access to medical services," Henggeler added. "A lot of what we're doing here is crossing the cultural divide between in-person visits to virtual visits."
VirtuMedix is also looking to scale its platform, which Henggeler described as a cloud service bearing a simple interface.
And at HIMSS15 VirtuMedix plans to demonstrate the platform's capabilities, Henggeler said, "particularly as we discuss multi-state deployments and their requirements for security, connectivity and reliability.”
Such multi-state deployments have thus far proven to be a stumbling block for many telemedicine efforts – but Henggeler is among the hopeful that will be overcome in the near future with an improved regulatory environment for telemedicine reimbursement in 2015.
"We're really optimistic that reimbursement hurdles will either be reduced or removed,” he said. “That will lead to connected health and digital health becoming more mainstream, a more accepted part of the general healthcare community.”
Beyond reimbursement, another challenge, of course, is the ongoing debate about whether or not doctors want the data that patient devices including fitness apps and wearables generate.