The growth of telehealth, and the confusion of terminology (US)

Becker’s Health IT and CIO Review has written up a US-centric review of recent advances in telehealth and telemedicine but kicks it off with the confusion level between the two terms. Internationally, and in these pages, they are separate terms; telehealth referring primarily to vital signs remote monitoring, and telemedicine the ‘virtual visit’ between doctor and patient, between two clinical sites, or ‘store and forward’ asynchronous exchange (e.g. teleradiology). Somehow, in US usage, they have been conflated or made interchangeable, with the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) admitting to same, and American Well simply ‘just doing it’ in relabeling what they provide. On top of it, the two are incorporating elements of each into the other. Examples: TytoCare vital signs measurement/recording into American Well’s video visit; Care Innovations Health Harmony also providing video capability.

Of particular interest to our international readers would be the high rate of US growth in telemedicine utilization from 7 to 22 percent (Rock Health survey). Teladoc, the largest and publicly traded provider, passed the milestone of 100,000 monthly visits in November and the ATA estimates 1.25 million from all providers for 2016 (Teladoc release). Other US competitors include the aforementioned American Well, MDLive, and Doctor on Demand, the latter two also selling direct to consumer. They also compete against doctor-on-house call services like Pager and Heal. Reimbursement remains an issue both privately and publicly (Medicare and Medicaid) on a state-by-state level, with telehealth experiencing significant difficulties, as well as internet access, speed, and usage by older adults.

Exciting new sessions, more startup funding at #MedMo16 NYC–now 25% off! (updated)

New Venue!
City Winery, 155 Varick Street, New York, NY
9am – 3:30pm (cocktail reception after) Monday 28 Nov; 9am – 3pm Tuesday 29 Nov
Information. Registration. TTA Readers use code Telecare25 for a 25% discount.

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/MedStartr_red_grey_sm.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]MedStartr and Health 2.0 NYC present Momentum, a full two-day conference focused on finding, partnering, piloting, and investing in the best new ideas in healthcare. Here are some updates on this event the Monday and Tuesday after Thanksgiving Weekend:

  • The MedMo16 Mega Challenge is awarding to participating startups in up to three pitch contests showcasing some of the coolest new early stage companies. 20 will be competing for over $750,000 (up from $500,000) in funding. Review the finalists here.
  • 70 speakers, five panels and nine talks from healthcare leaders like Rich Park of City MD (urgent care), Khan Siddiqui of Higi (gamified health kiosks), Regina Holliday of the patient activist Walking Gallery and more, featuring:
    The Unicorn Panel with leaders from some of the hottest companies like Pager (on-demand doctors) and Change Healthcare (revenue cycle management)
    Healthcare Innovation in the Trump Era, moderated by Fard Johnmar
    Ask the VC where we will let the crowd pose questions to leading investors in healthcare

Tickets are regularly priced as below–but our Readers get 25% off the full rates below. Use code Telecare25 when registering:

  • $75 for early stage startup founders, students and patient advocates ($56.25)
  • $155 general – expires 21 Nov–$395 thereafter ($116.25/$296.25)
  • $250 healthcare ecosystem stakeholders, investors and care providers ($187.50)
  • $450 non-healthcare ecosystem stakeholders ($337.50)

Tables and sponsorships available from $750.

MedMo16 is also the kickoff for the MedStartr Venture Fund which adds to the crowdfunding impact of MedStartr–now up to 94 health projects. TTA is a supporter of MedStartr and Health 2.0 NYC and Editor Donna is a MedMo16 event host. Hat tip to Alex Fair of #MedMo16 and MedStartr. Tag #MedMo16 and follow @MedStartr.

A ‘next generation’ house call from the patient’s perspective

Guest editor Sarianne Gruber (@subtleimpact) attended May’s d.health Summit on Aging in NYC. She reflects on moderator Christina Farr’s (immediately prior) direct experience with a virtual visit (convenience, proactive care–and utter frustration with her payer) and what the telemedicine ‘next gen’ provider panelists see as their advantages in fixing a fractured healthcare system.

Christina Farr had a “Next Generation” house call for the first time. The on-demand doctor’s visit provided her care and resolved the possibility of a trip to the emergency room, and best of all she felt great. Ms. Farr, an award-winning health and technology journalist, happen to have had her encounter just days prior to the d.Health Summit. Coincidentally, she was to be the moderator for a panel of prominent telehealth business leaders on this very topic. Curious after having had this experience, she wanted to know whether most cases were like hers wondering if they should go to ER, or were the visits more for routine things like coughs and colds, or did people just want a prescription. The d.Health panelists included Damian Gilbert, Founder & CEO of TouchCare (@touchcarehealth), Oscar Salazar, Chief Product Officer and Co- Founder of Pager (@getpager), Dr. Ian Tong, Chief Medical Officer of Doctor on Demand (@drondemand), and Dr. Roy Schoenberg, Co-Founder, and CEO of American Well (@americanwell).  (more…)

Apps and wearables – developments over the summer

Trying at least temporarily to distract this editor’s attention from his recent unfortunate experience with Jawbone technology, here are some interesting app and wearables snippets received over the summer.

We begin with news of the first CE certified mole checking app, SkinVision which rates moles using a simple traffic light system (using a red, orange or green risk rating). The app lets users store photos in multiple folders so they can track different moles over time. It aims to detect changing moles (color, size, symmetry etc.) that are a clear sign that something is wrong and that the person should visit a doctor immediately.

This contrasts with the findings of a paper published in June examining 46 insulin calculator apps, 45 of which were found to contain material problems, resulting in the conclusion that :”The majority of insulin dose calculator apps provide no protection against, and may actively contribute to, incorrect or inappropriate dose recommendations that put current users at risk of both catastrophic overdose and more subtle harms resulting from suboptimal glucose control.”, which to say the least of matters is worrying. (more…)