News Feature | April 29, 2014

Telemetry Advancements Open Growth Channels For Healthcare Solutions Providers

By Megan Williams, contributing writer

Telemetry Advancements Telemedicine

Remote telemedicine has been around almost 40 years. Recently though, remote monitoring of patients has experienced a boom in growth. The increase is motivated by both a shift toward more patient-focused healthcare, as well as moves toward cost-cutting across the industry. For solutions providers, this means growth in the demand for the technology and support systems around the advancement.

Delivery Mechanisms

It will be beneficial for VARs to be aware of the range of delivery mechanisms that make up remote telemedicine. According to the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), they include the following:

  • Networked programs link tertiary care hospitals and clinics to distant community health centers and clinics in rural or suburban areas. The links may use dedicated high-speed lines or the Internet for telecommunication links between sites. ATA estimates the number of existing telemedicine networks in the United States at roughly 200, providing connectivity to more than 3,000 sites.
  • Point-to-point connections using private, high-speed networks are used by hospitals and clinics that deliver services directly or outsource specialty services to independent medical service providers. Such outsourced services include radiology, stroke assessment, mental health, and intensive care services.
  • Monitoring center links are used for cardiac, pulmonary, or fetal monitoring and home care and related services that provide care to patients in the home. Often normal land-line or wireless connections are used to communicate directly between the patient and the center although some systems use the Internet.
  • Web-based e-health patient service sites provide direct consumer outreach and services over the Internet. Under telemedicine, these include those sites that provide direct patient care.

The Future

There is no doubt that in the future, we’ll see growth in the area of telemedicine. Dr. Jay Sanders, founder and former president of the American Telemedicine Association shared his thoughts in an interview with EHR Intelligence. “I think what we’re also going to see [is] a lot more wearable technology and monitoring sensors.  And I think that the yearly physical exam will be considered archaic. Think about what happens when you get in your car and you turn on the ignition. That dashboard lights up and you instantly know everything you need to know about your car.  Soon with wearable sensors, we will know exactly what our status is at any point in time.  So I think the wearable sensor and its associated mobile technology will be universal.”

Vendors interested in entering, or expanding their presence in the telemedicine market, might be interested in this forecasting report ("Telemedicine Technologies Market - Global Industry Size, Market Share, Trends, Analysis And Forecasts 2012 - 2018" ) from PR Web.