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Daily FYI

October 26, 2009

Can economic evaluation of telemedicine be trusted? A systematic review of the literature

Source: 7th Space

Telemedicine has been advocated as an effective means to provide health care services over a distance. Systematic information on costs and consequences has been called for to support decision-making in this field.

This paper provides a review of the quality, validity and generalisability of economic evaluations in telemedicine.

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Telemedicine getting short shrift in Congress' health care reforms

Source: ScrippsNews

New digital and mobile technologies could help improve health care and cut costs for patients, but health experts say these services are not often covered by private insurance plans.

"We need to use technology to change the organizational structure of health care," Darrell West, vice president of the Brookings Institution, said at a recent panel discussion at the Washington-based think tank.

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Stimulus to fund $400 million in telehealth links, but insurers still reluctant to pay for services

Source: FierceHealthIT

The federal EMR subsidy program doesn't start until fiscal year 2011, but the American Telemedicine Association believes that there will be $400 million available from the economic stimulus legislation over the next six months to set up high-definition videoconferencing links between hospitals and remote, underserved facilities for the purpose of expanding telehealth services. That's sure to give a shot in the arm to an industry segment that's growing at 15 percent a year, the Wall Street Journal reports

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New Telehealth Device Brings Health Management Home

Source: Healthcare Technology Online

Cambridge Consultants, a leading technology product design and development firm, has recently unveiled VenaHub, a data collection and aggregation system that promises to simplify personal health management in a connected health environment. VenaHub employs a small pocket device to capture data from a user's ecosystem of wireless medical devices, which it then integrates into a customizable online health information portal.

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Health Care Reform Should Do More To Boost Telemedicine

Source: iHealthBeat

The health care reform bill recently passed by the Senate Finance Committee includes telemedicine-related provisions, but some health care experts say the legislation does not go far enough, Scripps Howard News Service reports.

Darrell West, vice president of the Brookings Institution, said, "There needs to be policy changes that recognize the virtues of telemedicine."

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The Market for Telehealth

Source: Federal News Radio

More and more healthcare companies are turning to their phones and wireless applications to treat patients. So it's not surprising that the market for telehealth devices and services is expected to bring in more than $3 billion over the next five years. A new report estimates at least 25 percent of health information technology stimulus funds will be applied toward telehealth services like remote access to medical records, smart phone applications and remote patient monitoring.

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New Rule Could Exclude EMTs from Telemedicine

Source: EMS Responder

A rule change proposed in August to the Texas Medical Board, the official agency that oversees medical practice in the state, redefines so-called patient site presenters--the caregivers physically with patients who receive care via telemedicine from distant physicians--as being restricted to advanced-practice nurses, physician assistants or physicians. Currently, presenters can include a broader range of health professionals.

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