Even if you did attend the American Telemedicine Association’s annual meeting, you will likely be very interested in the extensive abstracts from the meeting’s presentations given from Sunday to last Tuesday. They range from the usual matched cohort studies in chronic disease to specialized areas such as teleICU, pediatrics, mental health (including telepsychiatry in California prisons), emergency responder and digital health approaches for brain injury/TBI. International is also represented in abstracts from Canada, Chile, Israel, Panama, Bolivia, Brazil, France, South Africa (delivered by Drs Maurice Mars and Richard Scott of ISfTeH) and Colombia. Telemedicine and e-Health (Liebert), free and sponsored by USF Health and the ATA. TTA was a media partner of ATA 2016.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been both one of the largest US users of telehealth in various forms–and widely criticized for practices including veteran patient wait lists for care, a lack of accountability, a scheduling system full of problems, an ancient EHR (VistA), and an inability to meet interoperability and modernization goals set over years. Telehealth is, in fact, one of VA’s bright spots with store-and-forward imaging, clinical video telemedicine and home telehealth.
At the American Telemedicine Association ATA 2016 meeting Monday, Under Secretary for Health and VA Chief Executive Dr. David Shulkin noted that the crisis has pushed VA into other options for achieving the goals set for the end of year: every VA medical center provides same day primary care services and same day mental health services. One area of focus is telemental health. Dr Shulkin announced in his plenary speech the opening of five new Mental Health Telehealth Clinical Resource Centers this summer, located in Charleston, Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh, and a consortium of facilities in Boise, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon. West Haven, Connecticut is already open as a specialty hub focused on the most severe and complex mental health issues, such as chronic depression and bipolar disorder. Other VA telemedicine initiatives include kiosks and text messaging to help with medication adherence and chronic condition management. (We’ve reported on their partnering with nhssimple to develop ANNIE, a sister of NHS’ Flo in text messaging to encourage patients in their health monitoring, TTA 2 Dec 15.)
VA delivered 2.1 million episodes of telehealth care last year (FY 2015), in 45 specialty areas of care, including 400,000 telemental health visits. They also reduced bed days by 56 percent, reduced readmissions by 32 percent, and decreased total psychiatric admissions by 35 percent, maintaining high user satisfaction scores at 89 percent.
Dr Shulkin also noted that four generations of veterans are served by VA–WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Shield through current Iraq/Afghanistan–and all four have different delivery requirements. He closed with what is, for VA which has been very proud of their ‘home grown’ solutions from the time of Dr Adam Darkins in the early 2000s on, something unusual: “We’re looking to learn, we’re looking to work with all of you who are innovating to help take better care of veterans.” (Next on tap: the award of the next five-year round of home telehealth providers, which is presently down to two Grizzled Pioneers, Medtronic (Cardiocom) and Viterion.) Mobihealthnews, VA press release
It is less than eight weeks to ATA 2016 14-17 May and a reminder it’s time to register for this leading telemedicine and telehealth conference. Young professionals 35 and younger can save 37 percent on their registration, which they can promptly spend in Minneapolis. There are local delicacies like the Juicy Lucy (cheese-stuffed burger), which can be washed down with a drink at the Art Deco bar in the W Foshay. There’s always retail therapy at the Mall of America, which is a bit of a drive out of town. More local is walking off the calories in a visit to the Mill City Museum or Minnehaha Park. TTA is a media partner of #ATA2016. See sidebar for our link to information and registration.
On the European calendar, a reminder for Med-e-Tel Luxembourg on 6-8 April sponsored by ISfTeH (International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth). Online registration is still available through 1 April. Back in the US, at the same time is HX Refactored in Boston, a Health 2.0 conference on 5-6 April; this Editor attended when it was in Brooklyn. HealthImpact East in NYC, a tightly organized one day conference organized by Purpose Events, is on 17 May.
Last Wednesday in London, City University London opened their City TECS (Technology Enabled Care Studio) Smart Home Facility. According to the article, it’s one of the first ‘smart homes’ opened by a UK university, though this Editor must note that in the US, it was a phenomenon of the mid-2000s that popped up and endures today at universities like Florida, George Mason, Rochester, Iowa State and Washington State. It encompasses telehealth, telecare and complements the existing Clinical Skills Suite for healthcare education. A small disappointment is the apparent lack of diversity in the kit, as Tunstall and Philips are the only companies mentioned. News-Medical.net
A note to this Editor had details on an event a little outside our usual frame; the 2 June conference in Edinburgh organized by Scotland Policy Conferences, ‘Next steps for palliative and end of life care: access, delivery and integration’. “The recently published Strategic Framework for Action outlines standards and commitments for the palliative and end of life care people in Scotland can expect…including service improvement, early identification of needs and staff education.” Information and registration.
Add 4,500 miles and have breakfast in Dallas hosted by the always-interesting Hubert Zajicek at the Health Wildcatters seed accelerator. The monthly ‘Pulse’ event features education from a guest speaker, a local health startup’s pitch their company and networking. Next one up is 14 April. More information and subscription here.
[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/ATA2016Bannerv2-1.jpg” thumb_width=”200″ /]American Telemedicine Association 2016 Conference and Trade Show
Sat 14-Tues 17 May, Minneapolis Convention Center
ATA 2016 is the world’s largest and most comprehensive meeting focused on telemedicine, digital, connected and mobile health. Over 6,000 healthcare professionals and entrepreneurs in the telemedicine, telehealth and mHealth area are expected to attend the 75+ sessions and visit the over 300 exhibitors in the main hall. Keynote speakers announced are:
- Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder of the MIT Media Lab
- James Peake, former US Secretary of Veterans Affairs
- John Noseworthy, MD, President and CEO of the Mayo Clinic
- David Shulkin, MD, Under Secretary of Health for the VA
- Jack Resneck, Board of Trustees, American Medical Association
- Jonathan Perlin, MD, PhD, MSHA, MACP, FACMI, President, American Hospital Association
- Reed Tuckson, President, Board of Directors, American Telemedicine Association
Register today through 15 April to save $150. More information here on schedule, keynotes, housing and Minneapolis (which is lovely in the spring when the snow is all gone!). TTA is again a media partner of ATA’s annual meeting.
We’ll be noting the news from our New York perch. If you have news, insights or comments you’d like to see here (objective and not promotional), please email this Editor. (These will be used at editorial discretion.) TTA has been for years a media partner of HIMSS Connected Health Conference/mHealth Summit (which, rumor has it, will happily be returning to December this year).
Upcoming will be the other US ‘big show’ in telehealth and telemedicine, ATA 2016, 14-17 May in Minneapolis, where we again are media partners. More on ATA in coming weeks!
If you are thinking about attending ATA’s Fall Forum sessions in Washington, DC this September, the early bird discount of $100 has a week to go–14 August is the last day. This year’s meeting also has, in addition to the conference, a National Telehealth Lobby Day (16 Sept) with short briefings on how to lobby, the key issues and a half-day to make those previously scheduled visits to your Senator or Representative. The updated schedule for the three-day conference is here.
Also for ATA 2016 in Minneapolis next 14-17 May, the call for presentations has just opened. See details here.
TTA is a media partner of ATA Fall Forum, and previously ATA 2014 and 2015.