Telemedicine/Telehealth News

Telemedicine Solutions Aid in Monitoring CHF Patients, Study…

Using telemedicine solutions for remote management of CHF patients is a new trend in medicine. According to two recent studies, telemedicine management solution can help in monitoring conditions of patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). The studies, TIM-HF and TEHAF, showed that telemonitoring offered marked advantages to defined subgroups of patients. Friedrich Koehler, from Charité Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, and the principal investigator of the TIM-HF study, explained: "Compared to 20 years ago patients are living longer with CHF due to improvements in the medical management of the disease. Finite healthcare resources are making it more important than ever before to keep patients well and out of hospital." Both studies showed that telemedicine monitoring of CHF patients improves survival by 17% and up to 47% within 6 to 12 months of follow up. The results of both studies counteract other findings from previous studies showing no significant benefits from telemedicine solution with CHF ... Read more

7% of U.S. Physicians are using Video Conferencing to …

Online video conferencing appears to be used by approximately 7% of American physicians to communicate with their patients, according to the new Taking the Pulse U.S. v11.0 study of physician digital adoption trends from pharmaceutical and ... Read more

Telemonitoring in ICU Reduces Mortality But Not …

Telemedicine may offer rural and remote patients access to specialists not available in their local hospital, but access to specialists in Intensive Care made little difference in mortality according to a meta-analysis of more than 40,000 critically ill patients, say researchers. Led by Dr. Renda  Soylemez Wiener, assistant professor of medicine at Boston University Medical School, the researchers analyzed the mortality statistics of electronic ICU, or tele-ICU, as the practice is also known. They presented their findings today at the American Thoracic Society ATS 2011 International Conference in Denver, Co. “There were many unpublished studies that became published between the time that we submitted our abstract for the conference and now,” Wiener told the Hub in a phone interview. “But the additional data did not change the initial findings. While there was a reduction in mortality among all the studies looking at telemonitoring of ICU patients the difference was not statistically significant. The confidence interval of one did not change with the additional study data.” The meta-analysis examined the mortality outcomes of 40,000 critically ill patients in 13 studies who were treated by intensivists, as ICU specialists are known, via telemedicine. What they found was that hospital mortality was lower after the introduction of telemonitoring for all studies combined, but did not reduce in-hospital mortality overall. Wiener said larger numbers of patients might see the difference reach statistical significance, or might confirm the current finding. Wiener said that this study is far from conclusive and that what is needed is a randomized controlled trial comparing telemonitoring with an intensivist to usual care ICU. She noted that many of the studies included in the meta-analysis failed to consider some key factors. “Most of the studies in our analysis used a before and after design. They often compared ICU patient outcomes treated before introduction of telemonitoring with outcomes in patients monitored by an intensivist after implementing the telemedicine technology,” she said. “None of them took into account differences in the severity of illnesses of those being cared for in ICU. Consequently we were unable to adjust for patients who were more severely ill.” Study Co-author Dr. Marc Freiman, also of Boston University Medical School, said in a prepared statement that previous studies have shown that outcomes for critically ill patients who were treated in ICU by intensivists tended to have better outcomes. However, there is a shortage of these specialists and one of the technologies expected to bridge the gap in rural and remote facilities is the use of telemedicine. Such a system involves a intensivist at a central monitoring facility who uses video cameras, and special monitoring equipment in the remote hospital to monitor vital signs, and other clinical status, and to interact with the patient and medical staff. Despite being costly to invest in these ICU telemonitoring systems, Freiman says that since the technology was introduced it has been widely adopted without careful study of whether they pay off in terms of patient outcomes. While this study is far from conclusive, it does confirm results of a study published in the March 28 Archives of Internal Medicine. That study also found that while telemonitoring reduced the length of stay in ICU, it did not change the overall length of stay in the hospital. Based on the two studies, Wiener says that the results might give pause to hospitals planning to install such systems. "If they’ve already made the investment in telemonitoring ICU patients then they should continue doing so, as the results were close to being statistically significant,” Wiener said. “However, if remote administrators are considering investing in the technology to support telemonitoring their ICU patients, it might be better to wait.” Both Wiener and Freiman believe a randomized controlled trial comparing telemonitoring to usual care is needed to determine whether telemonitoring by an ICU intensivist has any effect on mortality and other patient outcomes. “If further research also shows no reduction in mortality, hospital administrators may be reluctant to undertake the significant financial investment and restructuring that implementation of telemonitoring for critically ill patients requires,” Freiman said. By Michael O’Leary, contributing writer, Health Imaging ... Read more

Telemedicine Can Deliver Cardiac Rehabilitation…

Conducting cardiac rehabilitation via telemedicine may be an effective alternative to conventional onsite programs in terms of risk reduction a small pilot study shows. The results for both the onsite and remote group of patients mirrored results reported in previous cardiac rehabilitation research. Led by Lance Dalleck, formerly with the Department of Human Performance, Minnesota State University-Mankato, the researchers believe this study is among the first to use telemedicine to deliver cardiac rehabilitation at a remote site. Earlier studies of telemedicine in cardiac rehabilitation have shown it to be useful for teaching, monitoring and providing support to cardiac patients at a distance “There were no significant differences in the changes from baseline to post program values between conventional cardiac rehabilitation and telemedicine-delivered cardiac rehabilitation for any of the measured variables,” wrote Dalleck, who is now at the Department of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Auckland, New Zealand. “These findings suggest that telemedicine can be used to deliver cardiac rehabilitation effectively to patients who otherwise would not have access to such programs.” The purpose of the small feasibility study was to show that cardiac rehabilitation could be done via telemedicine. The researchers compared changes in cardiovascular disease risk factors between telemedicine-delivered cardiac rehabilitation and conventional onsite cardiac rehabilitation. The study was published online April 20, 2011, in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare ahead of print publication. In the study, 236 patients had undergone a variety of cardiac treatments including coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG), percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) or another transcatheter procedure (e.g. PTCI), myocardial infarction (MI) or valve surgery between January 2006 and December 2009. Dalleck told the Hub by e-mail that 173 received conventional rehabilitation at the treatment center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, while 53 participants underwent cardiac rehabilitation via telemedicine delivered at a remote location in Gallup, New Mexico 240 km, or 2.5 hours from the conventional cardiac rehabilitation site. After treatment, an exercise physiologist measured and recorded each patient’s cardiovascular disease risk factors, including resting blood pressure, anthropometric measurements (height and weight), lipid profile, and current physical activity patterns. The exercise physiologist then conducted an exercise test to establish baseline functional capacity. Patients then met a registered dietitian who reviewed their dietary intake patterns. The dietitian scored dietary and stress questionnaires. Finally, patients met a cardiologist to discuss their medical condition, possible limitations, and to decide risk factor reduction goals such as increase energy expenditure and decrease systolic blood pressure. Supervised exercise took place each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at both the conventional treatment center and the remote rehabilitation center. Throughout the cardiac rehabilitation program patients were supervised during exercise sessions and monitored via portable telemetry, pulse oximetry, blood pressure and RPE (rating of perceived exertion), which Dalleck said were transmitted via telemedicine to the conventional exercise site, where the data were collected and analyzed. Each site had two large screen video displays and two videoconferencing units that could be controlled remotely. In addition, each site had one video visualizer camera that could be used to display medical information or educational materials to the patient. One set of equipment was located in the exercise room, while the second set was located in the private room used for consultation. Telecommunication between the locations was via a T-1 connection. Overall attendance was similar between the two groups with 83 percent regularly attending at the conventional cardiac rehabilitation program and 81 percent attended the telemedicine-based cardiac rehabilitation program. At the end of the program, patients duplicated the procedures of the baseline appointment with the exercise physiologist, registered dietitian and cardiologist. Results showed that energy expenditure increased significantly from baseline in both conventional and telemedicine delivered groups, and reached an average of 1,181 kcal per week in the conventional site and 1,225 kcal/week at the telemedicine site. The researchers noted that meeting a threshold of 1,000 kcal/week is associated with a 10 percent to 20 percent reduction in coronary heart disease event rate. HDL-cholesterol levels for the conventional group and the telemedicine group both increased by 4.1 mg/dL from baseline to post program measurements. Triglyceride levels decreased significantly in the conventional group by 22 mg/dL but not in the telemedicine group, with an average decline in triglycerides of 8 mg/dL. There was no significant change from baseline in systolic blood pressure values at either site, however, there was a significant improvement in the diastolic blood pressure at the conventional site, but not the telemedicine site. Likewise, there were no significant change from baseline fat or triglyceride values at the telemedicine delivered site, while there was a significant improvement in fat and triglyceride values at the conventional rehabilitation site. In reverse, there was a significant improvement in the average BMI at the telemedicine site but not at the conventional site. Both sites saw significant improvements in energy expenditure, stress, total cholesterol, HDL and LDL cholesterol from baseline. The researchers note that the current study was limited by size and by use of a convenience sample in which participants were assigned to their respective groups based on location, rather than randomly assigned. Dalleck said he is pursuing funding for a larger study in New Zealand. “I do indeed hope to expand our previous work to a larger, randomized controlled trial in this country where heart disease accounts for 44 percent of all deaths,” Dalleck said. “Presently we have a few rural sites in mind and are working on funding for a PhD student to assist with the project.” By Michael O’Leary, contributing writer, Health Imaging ... Read more

Capital Group Holdings to Release Telemedicine …

Capital Group Holdings Inc. announced that the telemedicine platform they were working on will be launched under the OneHealthPass (OHP) brand. OneHealthPass is a complete telemedicine offering of products and services delivered via a centralized ... Read more

Mobisante Wins M-Health Innovation Award at Mobile …

Mobisante Inc, a privately held mHealth product and services company, has won a Global Mobile Award for its application, MobiUS™, as being the Best M-Health Innovation at this year’s Mobile World Congress. Matchbox Mobile, a leading custom software and application development consultancy, played a major role for achieving this success. MobiUS combines Windows™ Mobile devices with medical diagnostic devices to deliver low cost, mobile ultrasound scans, a very important service for improving maternal and foetal health in developing countries and rural areas. MobiUS enables a scanning probe to be attached to a Windows™ Mobile device. Scans taken on the device can then be automatically sent using Wi-Fi or e-mail for remote medical diagnosis by the specialist. Mobisante approached Matchbox with an already available application that required certain updates and enhancements to deliver the required functionality and performance. Turnaround time was just 10 weeks; before the product had to be developed in the application went into production and additional clinical trials. Matchbox assembled a Windows Mobile solution team who, from concept to delivery, ensured the high level of reliability required by Mobisante. As a result of the application’s successful development, Mobisante was able to begin new clinical trials on time and the product was recently cleared by the FDA. Last month, the GSMA awarded Mobisante the prestigious GSMA M-Health Innovation Award at Mobile World Congress. Sailesh Chutani, CEO of Mobisante, said: “What particularly impressed me about working with Matchbox was the collaborative nature of the relationship, which enabled us to think together as one team, rather than as separate entities. The resultant trust between the teams and a clear project plan enabled us to deliver a quality, innovative and ground-breaking application on time and on budget.” Simon Hamilton-Ritchie, CEO of Matchbox Mobile, added: “Working with custom hardware that was still being prototyped was a challenge. With only a handful of probes available, resources had to be shared between development and test teams. The award is testament to our Windows Mobile development expertise and the working partnership we rapidly formed with ... Read more

Saxon Weald Installs Telecare Solutions from Tunstall …

Tunstall Healthcare, a major company providing healthcare IT solutions, announced that Saxon Weald, a leading provider of social housing in West Sussex, has started using a number of its telecare solutions, such as Communicall Connect. These solutions will improve the security and safety for the individuals staying in Saxon Weald’s Extra Care retirement houses. Saxon Weald has more than 5,700 settings in East and West Sussex and Hampshire. The facilities include retirement and shared ownership houses. Saxon Weald offers Extra Care housing schemes, which were designed for individuals in need of healthcare and support. The scheme is operated by a scheme manager and is supported with a healthcare team ready for action around the clock. After using Tunstall’s telecare solutions at Downlands Court, the quality of life of the residents was significantly promoted. Downlands Court is a facility with 41 separate flats and is an extra care housing schemes in East Sussex. "Safety and security are a priority for us. We wanted to ensure maximum safety for all our residents without encroaching on their independence. The telecare solutions allow us to appropriately manage security throughout the property, ensuring residents' safety whilst still promoting independent living." said Carole Holland, Extra Care Services Manager for Saxon Weald. Tunstall's Communicall Connect was implemented to have a 24-hour communications system that offers staff the ability to communicate with residents via speech modules available at both individual settings and communal areas. "Tunstall and Saxon Weald have already worked together on a number of developments, and we are pleased to be able to continue to meet their needs again. The support that Saxon Weald offers residents improves their quality of life and now telecare is also playing a fundamental role in helping to maximize their independence, while ensuring help is always on hand when required." said Alison Rogan, UK communications ... Read more


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Broomwell HealthWatch, a major company providing ECG telemedicine services, announced that it has performed nearly 130,000 successful ECG interpretations since 2006. These interpretations resulted in avoiding the referral of 117,000 patients to hospitals or other healthcare facilities. Broomwell’s technology allows rapid and precise diagnosis of cardiac disorders by telephone. Patients get a 12-lead ECG test at their local GP surgery in few minutes time, which means that such patients do not need to go to a special hospital to get their checkups. The ECG tests are carried out 24 hours during the while year. The service is offered at GP surgeries, walk-in centers and minor injuries units (MIU) throughout England. The ECG telemedicine involve around 1300 calls weekly, which are interpreted by a team of expert cardiac clinicians from Broomwell. A study from the Greater Manchester and Cheshire Cardiac and Stroke Network (GMCCSN) showed that 63% of referrals to hospitals can be avoided by using Broomwell’s ECG telemedicine service. "Broomwell's ECG service has played a key role in transforming the way we deliver cardiac care to patients across the Network, significantly reducing the number of referrals to secondary care and freeing up NHS resources." said Karen Gibbons, Service Improvement Manager at the GMCCSN. She continued "By providing cardiac monitoring, diagnosis and care at GP level, patients receive a more effective and timely service, which in turn considerably enhances their experience and ensures GPs have the expertise on hand to make better-informed diagnoses." CEO of Broomwell HealthWatch, Joshua Rowe, said "Completing over 130,000 successful ECG telemedical calls and doing some 1,300 ECGs per week translates into major cost savings for the NHS. It also eliminates the inconvenience, long journeys and lost working days - not to mention the stress and anxiety - involved in waiting for appointments and results." adding "By effectively bringing ECG expertise and services into every surgery, by way of telephone or email, GPs are able to significantly reduce referrals and cut out inconvenience, unnecessary travel and waiting times. This service delivers a far more efficient level of care to cardiac patients and one which is closer to home, meaning referrals are simply not necessary. Mr. Rowe concluded "Since many suspected cardiac-related cases turn out to be non-emergency, being able to quickly establish the severity of the condition also enables GPs to reduce avoidable hospital admissions, and ensure patients receive the right care at the right ... Read more

HP Showcases Telehealth Solutions at HIMSS 2011…

HP is showcasing several new collaborative solutions for better telehealth adoption at the annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS 2011). At booth 731, HP is demonstrating several innovations, including LifeBot®, a solution created to offer a secure, mobile emergency medical services (EMS) telemedicine solution. Canvys is another solution provided by HP, it represents an advanced display system for ultrasound and cardiac images, PACS, and patient monitoring. Other products include Medweb's cloud-hosted imaging and data repository solution. It was designed to enhance the speed and promote the security of image storage. Parental Health is another innovative solution that was created to interact, face-to-face, with their doctors. Chris Mertens, vice president, Healthcare, Personal Systems Group, HP, said "HP is committed to providing industry-leading, comprehensive telehealth solutions for cost-effective and accurate remote patient monitoring and care. Through our close collaboration with innovative technology leaders, HP telehealth solutions bring physicians and care givers to the point of care, regardless of their location, with fast, reliable and enhanced secure ... Read more


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Tunstall Healthcare, a leader in telehealth solutions, has been recently chosen by the state Government of New South Wales, in Australia, as one of a panel of suppliers for its Connecting Care program, intended for chronic disease management. New ... Read more

Grant To Assess Telemedicine Impact ON ICU Care.…

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) recently awarded its first $50,000 AACN Impact Research Grant to Ruth Kleinpell, Ph.D., RN-CS, FAAN, director, Center for Clinical Research, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, and ... Read more

Tunstall Adds Just Checking to its Products…

Tunstall, UK, and Just Checking have announced a partnership whereby Tunstall will be exclusively marketing for Just Checking system in England and Wales. The Just Checking system is a web-based activity monitoring system which uses movement sensors in order to generate a 24 hour chart of activity of an individual living alone in their own homes. Currently, over than half of UK councils with social services responsibilities use Just Checking for evaluation and planning care for individuals leaving hospitals and for those with dementia. "Just Checking is a valuable addition to our growing range of telehealthcare solutions, better supporting our customers' short term assessments and informing longer term packages of care, identifying where telecare can offer ongoing support. Government policy is increasingly focusing on reablement, preventing re-admission to hospital and delaying the need for long term residential care. Assessment forms a vital part of delivering the services needed to support people in their own homes, and Just Checking offers a quick to install and cost effective means of assessing a person's ability to manage in the community," says Richard Rawcliffe, Sales Director of Tunstall. "This partnership means Just Checking will be introduced to a greater number of health and social care organizations, where there is enormous pressure to make finite budgets work harder. A better understanding of a person's capabilities, when they are living alone, allows practitioners to target care where it is needed, and to encourage independence when it is not." says Celia Price, Just Checking Marketing Director. First line support will be offered by Tunstall, while Just Checking will retain management of the associated web-service and helpline, and will continue to provide all product ... Read more

The Saban Free Clinic And CompuMed To Offer ECG …

The Saban Free Clinic, in Los Angeles, California, is going to offer electrocardiogram (ECG) telemedicine and CardioGramKids services throughout its four locations in addition to the school health centers operated by Saban Free. The Saban Free ... Read more

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