The New York Times has a rather ambivalent but quite thorough article on ‘what some experts call telehealth’ (uh, NYT, if it’s vital signs monitoring, it is telehealth!). ‘Ambivalent’ because the writer throws a bit of a wet blanket on it to start (the Yale study using only doctor-patient telephone calls) but then details positive results from trials: the VA, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic [TA 31 March, also see associated New England Journal article], UnitedHealth’s OptumHealth unit and others, along with more positive research. Mentioned are Intel (Humana, Mayo Clinic @ end of article), Alere (the former Inverness–VA) and WellDoc (AT&T trials with 1.2 million former and current employees, TA 15 Oct). One of the best quotes is from Jewish Home Lifecare–patients telling (unnamed) telehealth units what they would hesitate to tell the nurse fearing loss of independent living–but a quick check of their website confirms they are using the Bosch Health Buddy. Health care is marching into the home–now all we have to do is get it out of trials, get answers for the FBQs* and workable business models. Wired up at home to monitor illnesses. Also Neil Versel @ FierceMobileHealthcare does a pre-Thanksgiving carve-up of the Yale ‘telehealth’ study.
*The Four Big Questions: who will pay for the technology; what rate will they pay; where does the data go, and who takes action