Telehealth and Medicine Today <p><strong>Telehealth and Medicine Today (TMT</strong>) is a gold open access international peer reviewed journal examining the value of telehealth and clinical automation, its use and scalable developments, business process guidance, market research and the economic impact of digital health innovations in an evolving virtual health technology sector.</p> en-US <p>Authors retain copyright of their work, with first publication rights granted to <em>Telehealth and Medicine Today (TMT).</em></p> <p><em>TMT is published under a <a href="" rel="license">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License</a>. </em></p> <p> </p> (Tory Cenaj) (John Russo, PharmD) Wed, 24 Nov 2021 07:37:56 -0800 OJS 60 Telerehabilitation: An Overview <p>Rehabilitation is a major component of health sciences, and is the process of restoring an incapacitated individual to a normal life through training and therapy. Globally, 2.4 billion people may currently require rehabilitation. In 60 to 70% of countries, existing rehabilitation services have been disrupted due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Even after lockdowns and with vaccinations, some form of physical distancing is likely to be part of the new normal. Concurrently, there is an exponential growth of telehealth. This global overview will demonstrate that telerehabilitation (TR) is likely to be a distinct stand-alone sub-specialty of telehealth. Details of setting up TR, methods, and components are discussed, and clinical indications, limitations, advantages, disadvantages, challenges, and barriers to implementation and technological advances in TR are highlighted followed by an in-depth study of the literature from India.</p> Ganapathy Krishnan Copyright (c) 2021 Ganapathy Krishnan Tue, 30 Nov 2021 00:00:00 -0800 Medicare Telehealth Pre and Post-COVID-19 <p><strong>ABSTRACT</strong></p> <p>The COVID-19 pandemic led to temporary relaxations for telehealth with respect to physician licensure, geographic location, and eligible sites for reimbursement. Earlier policies had impacted the rate of adoption of telehealth and retarded the ability to derive full benefits related to cost, access to care, and quality of care. This aspect is analyzed using 2018 Medicare fee-for-service codes and rates for 10 telemedicine services. Based on the analysis of these data, additional research, and literature review, this report describes how interstate practices can be better leveraged to achieve maximum potential for direct and indirect savings that can accrue through such pragmatic approaches for certain services. The interstate collaborations proposed in this report provide examples of broader telehealth policies that could foster increasing access to quality health care for Medicare beneficiaries and can potentially be used as insight to assist federal and state agencies as they review the continuation, cessation, or modifications of relaxations granted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> Sophia Albanese, Dr. Amar Gupta, Ilina Shah, Dr. Joanna Mitri Copyright (c) 2021 Sophia Albanese, Dr. Amar Gupta, Ilina Shah, Dr. Joanna Mitri Wed, 24 Nov 2021 00:00:00 -0800 Enhancing Digital Empathy and Reimagining the Telehealth Experience <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As telehealth is increasingly adopted across all care settings, it is important to understand how clinicians can adapt and respond to patient needs. Drawing from experiences of a virtual primary care physician and a patient advocate, this Perspectives editorial provides additional insights beyonds the telehealth basics for establishing digital empathy and a remote therapeutic connection.</span></p> Matthew Sakumoto, Sarah Krug Copyright (c) 2021 Matthew Sakumoto, Sarah Krug Wed, 24 Nov 2021 00:00:00 -0800 Telehealth in the Post Pandemic Era <p>As we look towards post-pandemic health delivery, the role of telehealth must be examined. We use the RE-AIM framework to discuss the challenges and successes of telehealth during the pandemic in the United States, and propose critical aspects to consider for optimizing telehealth care in the future.</p> Alison Cahill, Elizabeth C. Matsui Copyright (c) 2021 Alison Cahill, Elizabeth C. Matsui Wed, 24 Nov 2021 00:00:00 -0800 Prenatal Telehealth During the Pandemic: Sociodemographic and Clinical Associations <p><strong>Objectives</strong>: Like other areas of care affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth (both audio and video) was rapidly adopted in the obstetric setting. We performed a retrospective analysis of electronic health record (EHR) data to characterize the sociodemographic and clinical factors associated with telehealth utilization among patients who received prenatal care.</p> <p><strong>Materials and Methods</strong>: The study period covered March 23<sup>rd</sup>, 2020 to July 2<sup>nd</sup>, 2020, during which time 2,521 patients received prenatal care at a large academic medical center. We applied a generalized logistic regression to measure the relationship between the patients’ sociodemographic factors (in terms of age, race, ethnicity, urbanization level, and insurance type), pregnancy complications (namely, type 2 diabetes, chronic hypertension, and fetal growth restriction), and telehealth usage, as documented in the EHR.</p> <p><strong>Results</strong>: During the study period, 2,521 patients had 16,516 prenatal care visits. 938 (37.2%) of the patients participated in at least one of 1,934 virtual prenatal care visits. Prenatal visits were more likely to be conducted through telehealth for patients who were older than 25 years old and lived in rural areas. In addition, patients who were with type 2 diabetes were more likely to use telehealth in their prenatal care (adjusted Odds Ratio (aOR) 7.247 [95% Confidence Interval (95% CI) 4.244 – 12.933]). By contrast, patients from racial and ethnic minority groups were less likely to have a telehealth encounter compared to white or non-Hispanic patients (aOR 0.603 [95% CI 0.465 – 0.778] and aOR 0.663 [95% CI 0.471 – 0.927], respectively). Additionally, patients who were on state-level Medicaid were less likely to use telehealth (aOR 0.495 [95% CI 0.402 – 0.608]).</p> <p><strong>Discussion</strong>: Disparities in telehealth use for prenatal care suggest further investigations into access barriers. Hispanic patients who had low English language proficiency may not willing to see doctors via virtual care. Availability of high-speed internet and/or hardware may hold these patients who were insured through state-level Medicaid back due to poverty. Future work is advised to minimize access barriers to telehealth in its implementation.</p> <p><strong>Conclusions</strong>: While telehealth expanded prenatal care access for childbearing women during the COVID-19 pandemic, this study suggested that there were non-trivial differences in the demographics of patients who utilized such settings.</p> Cheng Gao, Sarah Osmundson, Bradley Malin, You Chen Copyright (c) 2021 Cheng Gao, Sarah Osmundson, Bradley Malin, You Chen Wed, 24 Nov 2021 00:00:00 -0800 Telegenetics and COVID 19: Through the Pandemic and Beyond <p><strong>Introduction </strong>- The COVID 19 pandemic led to restrictions on the conventional ways of healthcare delivery. Telemedicine provided a viable solution that was in line with the social distancing policies imposed to minimize disease transmission. This demanded physicians adapt to new ways of healthcare delivery. We surveyed geneticists across the country to determine their experience and to ascertain if telegenetics will be a lasting change.</p> <p><strong>Materials and Methods </strong>- A 23 item standardized survey was distributed to various US-based geneticists via email and other social media platforms focusing on their experience of providing care via telemedicine.</p> <p><strong>Results </strong>- We received 69 responses from physicians across 26 states. Of these, 91% practiced in academia. 70% responded that pediatric genetics takes up more than 50% of their practice. 68% had over 50% of their practice switch to telemedicine. 77% felt they could provide adequate care via telemedicine and 94% of providers would like to continue telemedicine post-pandemic.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion </strong>- The future of telemedicine looks promising as the majority of clinicians would like to routinely use telemedicine post-pandemic. Uniform guidelines for use of telemedicine in genetics may need to be proposed by professional societies and supported by federal laws.&nbsp;</p> Soumiya Ravi, Aaina Kochhar, Radhika Dhamija Copyright (c) 2021 Soumiya Ravi, Aaina Kochhar, Radhika Dhamija Wed, 24 Nov 2021 00:00:00 -0800 Validation of Computer-Aided Diagnosis of Diabetic Retinopathy from Retinal Photographs of Diabetic Patients from Telecamps <p><strong>Objective: </strong>To validate an algorithm previously developed by the Healthcare Technology Innovation Centre, IIT Madras, India for screening of diabetic retinopathy (DR), in fundus images of diabetic patients from telecamps to examine the screening performance for DR.</p> <p><strong>Design: </strong>Photographs of patients with diabetes were examined using the automated algorithm for the detection of DR<strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>Setting: </strong>Mobile Teleophthalmology camps were conducted in two districts in Tamil Nadu, India from Jan 2015 to May 2017.</p> <p><strong>Participants: </strong>939 eyes of 472 diabetic patients were examined at Mobile Teleophthalmology camps in Thiruvallur and Kanchipuram districts, Tamil Nadu, India,. Fundus images were obtained (40-45-degree posterior pole in each eye) for all patients using a nonmydriatic fundus camera by the fundus photographer.</p> <p><strong>Main Outcome Measures:</strong> Fundus images were evaluated for presence or absence of DR using a computer-assisted algorithm, by an ophthalmologist at a tertiary eye care centre (reference standard) and by a fundus photographer.</p> <p><strong>Results: </strong>The algorithm demonstrated 85% sensitivity and 80% specificity in detecting DR compared to ophthalmologist. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.69 (95%CI=0.65 to 0.73). The algorithm identified 100% of vision-threatening retinopathy just like the ophthalmologist. When compared to the photographer, the algorithm demonstrated 81% sensitivity and 78% specificity. The sensitivity of the photographer to detect DR was found to be 86% and specificity was 99% in detecting DR compared to ophthalmologist.</p> <p><strong>Conclusions:</strong> The algorithm can detect the presence or absence of DR in diabetic patients. All findings of vision-threatening retinopathy could be detected with reasonable accuracy and will help to reduce the workload for human graders in remote areas.</p> Sheila John, Sangeetha Srinivasan, Natarajan Sundaram Copyright (c) 2021 Sheila John, Sangeetha Srinivasan, Natarajan Sundaram Wed, 24 Nov 2021 00:00:00 -0800