Monday, June 18, 2012

THE GRADUAL INTRODUCTION OF TELEHEALTH

We are beginning to see the introduction of telehealth into the medical treatment protocols. I have been hearing about tele-medicine for doctors, for awhile now. In fact,, when the idea ofCyberjaya and multimedia corridor was first introduced, I remember being invited to a briefing by MOH on the introduction of tele-medicine. That was about15-20years ago. Sporacically, I still hear about it in MOH circles. I am not sure how much is it being used.
Anyway, at the recent meeting of the American Diabetic Association 2012 Annual Scientific Meeting, there was a paper presented by Dr Nancy Allen of the Boston College, Boston. She studied the effects of tele-monitoring the glucometer of diabetics in 11 New York Hospitals, to see whether it was a good idea. They studied 126 patients from these 11 New York Hospitals, and found that after 1 year of follow-up, the average glucometer reduction was 2-3%, which the authors felt was very good. The 12 6 patients were each given a glucometer for home glucose monitoring. Once the glucose was estimated, it was obviously relayed via, landlinked lines, to the medical center. Should the readings be >20% of the target level, a red line will flash, and the patient will be contacted by the diabetic nurse, and told what to do.
In this way, they could help the diabetic patients to have better glucose control.

Not so long ago, a company called "Heartronics" came to my clinic and offered to us a device which can record a one channel ECG and tele - relayed it to a nerve center where the rhythm can be analyse, and the report send back to the patient via short messaging system. I tried it and the machine is still with me, looking for use. The rhythm strip generated by the strip was adequate for analysis, and the recording device is actually and smart phone, which can record ECG rhythm and trasmit it to a center.

So we can see that now, medicine is getting more sophisticated, and machines can help us.
Looks like soon we will we have to have a smart phone for communication and another smart phone that acts like "doctor" on line.

1 comment:

Browne thomas said...

Telemedicine under the MD247 program could end with a patient getting to talk to a nurse to reassure themselves over a course of treatment, but the telemedicine program takes things to the next level by also providing prescription refills. ask a doctor