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Welcome to Iron Bow's TechSource, a blog about the issues facing the government and industry today and the technologies being adopted to help overcome them.

Telehealth Solutions for Early Detection and Management of Chronic Disease

TechSource Editor

February 24, 2016  |  Telehealth

Iron Bow’s TED (Telehealth Education Delivered) truck hit the road again in 2016, making its way across the United States visiting hundreds of Veterans medical clinics and offices. While TED is on the go, we are taking the opportunity to talk with all of our TED partners about the many aspects of telehealth and how technology is evolving to help care teams, practitioners and specialists improve care, anywhere, at anytime. We recently asked Rich Amador, Manager, Applications Support at Canon to give us his thoughts on the future of telehealth. Here is what he had to say:

TechSource Editors: Tell us about the trends you are seeing in the industry and what do you expect for telehealth in 2016.

Rich Amador: In recent years, healthcare has shifted its focus onto the management of chronic disease and measured outcomes now that we are understanding that early detection and proper treatment has a positive affect on a patient’s outcome.

To support this shift, large health organizations are beginning to formulate programs that capture patients with chronic disease like diabetes and screen them on a regular basis to better assess the efficacy of their treatment. Logistically, this can be a daunting task since patients may be dispersed over a wide geographic area. This is where providing telehealth services makes sense. Data can be collected from a wide area of service but the data (fundus images, measurements like intra ocular pressure, etc.) can be centrally located for reading and analysis. Early detection and early ‘effective’ treatment will not only improve patient health, but will have a positive return on investment.

TechSource Editors: Are there current challenges that are hindering the adoption of telehealth? How can they be addressed?

Rich Amador: The regulatory environment with both state and federal laws will continue to have an impact on how and when telehealth is implemented by each organization. Physician practice standards and licensure portability from state to state will continue to affect the adoption
rate of telehealth services. Most importantly, improved patient medical insurance coverage and physician and facility reimbursements will continue to play a role in determining the economic viability of providing telehealth services.

TechSource: Generally speaking, how do the solutions that you provide allow providers to offer better care?

Rich Amador: Our high resolution digital retinal imaging camera systems can be used for Teleretinal screenings to assess vision threatening conditions including Diabetic Retinopathy, Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma and Hypertension.

The cameras include automated functions for focus/capture to facilitate ease of use by non-technical staff. The cameras do not require the use of patient dilation drops to generate high resolution retinal photos. The cameras can be placed in Primary Care settings to generate images that can be read and graded remotely by Eye Care physicians.

Through telehealth solutions, the imaging software solutions can facilitate communication
with existing DICOM PACS networks and help physicians determine the current state of the patient. Our solution is currently in use within the VA’s National Teleretinal screening program, which began in 2006.

For more information on TED as it travels to medical centers delivering telehealth education and hands-on demos of these types of technologies, visit www.ted2go.com.

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