Telemedicine is now “mainstream,” reports Medical Economics writer, Beth Thomas Hertz.
Citing a report from InMedica, Hertz explains that, “ 308,000 patients around the world were monitored remotely by providers in 2012 for congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, hypertension and mental health conditions.”
And that’s just the beginning.
The number of virtual patients is expected to balloon to 1.8 million in the next four years.
Telemedicine can be defined as video conferencing with a patient through HIPAA approved telemedicine kits, mobile monitoring devices, use of electronic medical data, or accessing information from a smartphone app.
Kim Dunn, MD, explains to Hertz that in her Bellaire, Texas practice, “Telemedicine is fundamentally about communication, and that’s how we use it.”
Telemedicine uses are expanding with the desire to reduce costs by remotely:
- Tracking disease progression
- Sharing specialists
- Monitoring chronic conditions to avoid emergency room visits
- Reading radiology diagnostic tests
- Monitoring and coordinating treatment plans
How to Become a Telemedicine Provider
Hertz’s article is a great resource to learn:
- Pitfalls to avoid
- How to become a provider
- How to get started
- Reimbursement for services
A lot of helpful tips are included like being aware of technology compatibility issues, how to become a medical consultant through a telehealth network, overcoming training obstacles, and more.