I have to say…The Role of Telehealth in an Evolving Health Care Environment Workshop, hosted by the Institute of Medicine in Washington, DC on August 8-9, 2012, was one of the better telehealth-focused conferences or meetings I have attended in a while. It was exciting to have the Institute of Medicine commit their time to improve their understanding of where and how telehealth is currently playing a role in patient care. The agenda was well-balanced, sharing information on various applications, policy issues and concerns, as well as current and expected challenges. We heard from many who are currently providing telehealth services and the positive effects they were experiencing. But it was also good to hear from some of the folks who aren’t necessarily that excited about or support the expanding telehealth opportunities. Only by understanding their concerns, those of us in the telehealth field can work to better address these issues and, in the longer-term, improve the overall provision of telehealth-related services.
As I understand it, the IOM is considering conducting a full study as a follow-up to this workshop. I hope this happens, I am anxious to see their results!