Telehealth may help treatment of depressed older people

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Is depression treatment a neglected area for telehealth?  Early findings of a Weill Cornell Homecare Research Project/Rhode Island Hospital/University of Vermont Telemedicine program indicate that telehealth (called variously telemedicine and even telecare in article) can be used to improve treatment of depression, prevalent in older adults in home care.  Reports from the NAHC* annual meeting, where this was presented, vary but the gist is that the project integrated depression care into existing telehealth programs. They partnered with three home health agencies in New York, Vermont and Florida to use the Depression TeleCare Protocol and in the small group of patients (19) depression was improved from ‘markedly severe’ to ‘mild’.  Healthcare IT News Read also a 2006 Weill Cornell Homecare study in Clinical Geriatrics on the prevalence of depression in the elderly, the need for screening and treatment.  *National Association for Home Care and Hospice (US)