Enterprise Networking: Telehealth Technology Takes Center Stage at ATA 2012
Telehealth technology, which leverages wireless and enterprise networking, is changing the model of how we think about going to the doctor. It can help patients avoid traveling long distances to hospitals and clinics, particularly when they reside in remote or rural areas. The technology can also reduce overcrowding in hospitals. By combining Webcam and inputs from standard medical instruments, such as an ophthalmoscope, peak flow meters and blood glucose meters with Internet connectivity, doctors can get real-time data on patient health from afar and share the results with specialists on hospital networks. At the American Telemedicine Association show (ATA 2012) in San Jose., Calif., from April 30-May 1, companies such as AT&T, Cisco, Consult A Doctor and Polycom demonstrated telehealth technology. The health care industry hopes to reduce costly readmissions by remotely monitoring patients when they leave the hospital. In addition to avoiding hospitalization, telehealth and remote monitoring allow patients to remain in their homes longer and avoid being moved to elder-care centers. The telehealth market will grow to about $1 billion by 2016 and $6 billion by 2012, according to a Sept. 15, 2011 report by InMedica, a unit of IMS Research. Here, eWEEK showcases some of the latest telehealth technology that allows doctors and patients to connect remotely.
Consult A Doctor on the iPhone
Consult A Doctor unveiled a beta version of its iPhone app at ATA 2012 and plans to launch it officially in the coming weeks. The app allows patients to hold consultations with doctors by voice or email. The company plans to add video capabilities and an Android version in the future.