At ATA 2010: Intel study, with surprises

Our ‘findings’ (a forecast of sorts) for Friday is from ATA 2010, courtesy of Intel’s national interview survey of 75 healthcare and IT professionals in the US involved with telehealth.  Two-thirds of healthcare professionals are already using telehealth with an 87% satisfaction rate. If those sizable numbers don’t surprise you, the definition will:  ‘telehealth solutions, which deliver health-related services and information via telecommunications and computing technologies’, which can encompass EMRs, in-hospital monitoring systems, PERS, telemedicine and more.  As the farmer would say, the broadest side of the barn. The rest of the conclusions–dramatic changes in healthcare delivery coming over next 10 years, better outcomes are greatest advantage, barrier is reimbursement, healthcare ‘reform’ in US will spur adoption, etc., won’t be a surprise.  Release.

Readers may also want to read Dana Blankenhorn’s take on the survey: “Intel is a great company, but it’s asking the wrong questions to the wrong people, and seeking to extract money from the wrong customer set.” The problem for telehealth is getting paid ZDNet.

1 thought on “At ATA 2010: Intel study, with surprises

  1. But wait…there’s more (holes)

    Dana Blankenhorn’s article pointedly shows the potholes in Intel’s survey methodology and release (complete with typo). What would lower the barrier to wide implementation of telehealth is a healthcare setup that puts value on total service for the patient rather than different services. But the proposed solution–per patient fee–might give us the worst of both worlds: a per patient fee without specific reimbursement for telehealth.

    The savings alone, even in this context, will not spur the ‘mass’ growth that Dana B. envisions. First, all telehealth has initial costs for implementation and ongoing service/training. Second, for healthcare providers, there is a labor cost related to monitoring.  Telehealth can increase clinician/physician workload–all that reporting needs to be looked at, at some point.  And all for less money.  So telehealth remains a cost, just shifted around.

    Let’s not assume that the back end of telehealth–the ‘where it is going, who is looking at it and acting on it’  is free.  Until systems are in place and being used, we’re still on the shakedown cruise.

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