Telehealth News Flash, Oct. 1

Telehealth news and events we have been talking about around our office this week

Functional Recovery in the Elderly After Major Surgery: Assessment of Mobility Recovery Using Wireless Technology

This recent study conducted by doctors at the Mayo clinic and published in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery in early September is garnering attention in multiple fields including medicine, IT, and business.  The researchers used “off-the-shelf” fitness monitors (Fitbits) to measure mobility in elderly patients recovering from cardiac surgery.  Their findings show a significant relationship between steps taken and recovery time, and suggest information gathered from monitoring technologies may improve quality of care and post-discharge outcomes.

Additional commentary on the study:

Med City News:  Mayo Clinic Study:  Fitbit data can be an early warning sign of slow recovery from surgery

Forbes:  Fitbit Could Help Monitor Progress After Heart Surgery

Colorado-based hospital group to form digital health subsidiary
Neil Versal, MobiHealth News

Catholic Health Initiatives is a Colorado-based health system with a plan to expand virtual services by moving them to a magnet subsidiary which will include telehealth, telemedicine, mobile, media, and gamification.  The new subsidiary then plans to market its virtual services to employer groups and payers.  Many details are still to come, but we are keeping out eyes on this innovative strategy as CHI’s reach continues to expand nationally.

gpTRAC 2012 Program Advisory Council Meeting

Regional telehealth leaders from hospitals and health systems of six states gathered on June 11th to discuss issues of importance to their telehealth services and programs, and to provide on-going guidance and direction in support of the work of the Great Plains Telehealth Resource & Assistance Center.

The gpTRAC Program Advisory Council meets annually to gauge the state of telehealth activities in our region, share their perspectives on service growth, identify regional issues of concern, and to provide suggestions for the future activities of the gpTRAC program.

The group’s membership includes two health systems with active telehealth programs from each of the six states in the gpTRAC service area, along with a couple of multi-state, specialized representation.  This year, participants included the following organizations:  Essentia Health (Duluth, MN), Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN), Altru Health (Grand Forks, ND), Sanford Health (Sioux Falls, SD), University of Nebraska Medical Center (Omaha, NE), Good Samaritan Hospital (Kearney, NE), Mercy Medical Center (Des Moines, IA), and Dean Health (WI).

This year, key topics discussed included:

-The growing national responsibilities of regional TRCs.
-The need for collaboration among TRCs to avoid duplication of information.
-The relationship between telemedicine providers, users, and insurance companies.
-Privacy and Security concerns when practicing via telemedicine.
-Utilizing the Health Information Exchange to collect data on telehealth services and providers in the US.
-Clinic policies and bylaws regarding telemedicine.
-The interface between IT and telemedicine.
-Integrating Epic into a telemedicine practice.
-Ethical home and health monitoring.

We want to thank our informative leadership council for another great yearly meeting.  If you have a topic you would like more information about, or would like to see gpTRAC pursue, please contact us here and let us know!