CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

Telemedicine laws allow entry into neurophysiology

If you haven't heard of teleneurophysiology, know that the word tele is going to become as ubiquitous in health care over the next few years as the e- in e-prescribing.

Telemedicine news:

Feedback from service users will provide insight into opportunities for improvement so that performance can be optimised. In the context of a formative evaluation referring clinician and patient satisfaction with a teleneurophysiology service was examined during a 20 week pilot period.

Methods: Questionnaire surveys of referring clinicians and patients were conducted.

Results: Fifteen (58%) clinicians responded to the first part of a postal survey which examined their satisfaction with traditional clinical neurophysiology services.

Nine (35%) responded to a second part which assessed their experience with the teleneurophysiology service. Teleneurophysiology improved satisfaction with waiting times, availability of results and impact on patient management.

There was unanimous support from the clinicians for the permanent development of a teleneurophysiology service, although 2 cautioned this could delay establishing a neurology service in their region.Eighty-two percent (116/142) of patients responded to a survey of their satisfaction with teleneurophysiology. This was compared to a previous report of 322 patients'experience with traditional CN services in Ireland.

Waiting times for appointment were shorter for the former group who supported the telemedicine model recognising that it reduced the travel burden and need for overnight journeys. The two groups were equally anxious about the investigation although the teleneurophysiology patients received more prior information.

Conclusion: This study illustrates that teleneurophysiology is an acceptable model of service delivery for its primary customers.

Their feedback is important in informing appropriate design and governance of such innovative models of health service provision.

Author: Patricia BreenKevin MurphyGeraldine BrowneFiona MolloyValerie ReidColin DohertyNorman DelantySean ConnollyMary Fitzsimons
Credits/Source: BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 2010, 10:49

A Montreal study urges increase in telemedicine use:

 

n a report being released today, the Montreal Economic Institute says several studies -including one at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital in Montreal -show telemedicine can significantly reduce costs to taxpayers, increase health care service efficiency and boost patients' well-being because they spend less time travelling to and from clinics and hospitals and waiting around to see a nurse or a doctor.

This isn't shockingly new information, but the institute says booming health care costs make getting a tech upgrade an urgent necessity.

"With a smart phone I can take a picture of a wound on my leg and send it to a doctor," said Germain Belzile, the institute's director of research. "The doctor might say, 'It looks like diabetes; go get a blood test.' Already we've saved 12 hours of waiting in a hospital emergency waiting room."

The Maisonneuve-Rosemont study in 2003 and 2004 involved 2,400 chronic lung disease outpatients. Some had a device in their homes that gauged their lung capacity, cardiac rhythm and blood pressure and sent the results automatically to the hospital over the Internet. These patients were also consulting more frequently by phone with nurses. Other patients had no such devices in their homes and received regular medical care, including short phone calls and frequent visits by nurses to patients' homes.

(Each heart-lung device costs $1,275 every year for five years to pay for and maintain, but they pay for themselves in the end, Belzile said.)

The savings added up to $355 per patient over six months for those with telemedicine compared to those with little or none -a difference of 13 per cent.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/Heeding+call+telemedicine/3531790/story.html#ixzz0zjFz0ubt

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More telemedicine in Canada:

 

Zargis Medical Corp., a majority-owned subsidiary of Speedus Corp. (OTCQB: SPDE), today announced that it has signed an agreement with the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) providing for the delivery and testing of Zargis' award-winning telemedicine stethoscope system.

OTN is one of the world's largest and most respected telemedicine networks. An independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the Government of Ontario, Canada, OTN provides access to care for patients in every hospital in Ontario and hundreds of other healthcare locations across the province. In 2010 OTN will conduct more than 100,000 patient visits over more than 2,000 telemedicine systems.

The core component of Zargis' telemedicine stethoscope system, Zargis TeleSteth(TM), is a component of the Zargis Cardioscan heart sounds analysis software and the Zargis StethAssist(R) heart and lung sounds visualization software. TeleSteth was developed to extend the practice of auscultation (listening with a stethoscope) to situations and environments where face-to-face encounters are not always convenient or feasible. This platform allows healthcare professionals to share heart, lung and airway sounds with colleagues located across the globe using the Internet or a private network. TeleSteth permits patient sounds to be remotely evaluated in real-time (synchronous) or store-and-forward (asynchronous) mode.

TeleSteth is designed to be accessed from a user's PC via a standard Internet browser. Additionally, for organizations requiring users to access stethoscope sounds from within their private network, TeleSteth can be deployed using Zargis' secure enterprise server platform. All components of Zargis' telemedicine stethoscope system are HIPAA-compliant.

"OTN is one of the world's most sophisticated telemedicine networks and we are pleased to have been selected as the vendor of tele-auscultation solutions for their vast network of healthcare professionals throughout Canada's most populous province," stated Zargis CEO John Kallassy. "Zargis' tele-auscultation platform will help OTN deliver cost-effective, expert healthcare."

"OTN depends on reliable and easy-to-use equipment. Zargis' expertise in the field and the quality of their product met our need for a superior telemedicine stethoscope solution," said Dr. Ed Brown, OTN's CEO.

For more information about Zargis' tele-auscultation tools or to arrange a demonstration, call (609) 488-4608.

About Zargis Medical Corp.

Zargis is a global medical device company focused on improving health outcomes and cost-effectiveness through auscultation software and products. Zargis is majority-owned by Speedus Corp. (OTCQB: SPDE), and both 3M Company and Siemens Corporate Research, a division of Siemens AG /quotes/comstock/13*!si/quotes/nls/si (SI 102.09, +0.11, +0.11%) , hold equity positions.

For additional information about Zargis or Speedus Corp., contact Peter Hodge at 888.773.3669 (ext. 23) or phodge@zargis.com, or visit the following Web sites: www.zargis.com and www.speedus.com.

Statements contained herein that are not historical facts, including but not limited to statements about the Company's product, corporate identity and focus, may be forward-looking statements that are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties. There are a number of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by the Company, including, but not limited to, the continuing development of the Company's sales, marketing and support efforts.

And locally in Illinois:

AMD Global Telemedicine, the world's leading supplier of telemedicine technology, devices, and application software for both dynamic encounters (live telemedicine) and deferred consultations, is happy to announce that its telemedicine solutions have been selected by the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) for a pilot program to treat inmates using telemedicine.

UIC has also partnered with the Illinois Department of Corrections on this telemedicine pilot which is specifically designed to bring elaborate and sophisticated healthcare to inmates with HIV and Hepatitis C. This inter-agency pilot program, called the "Telemedicine Pilot Program" successfully rolled out in August 2010 at three sites: Danville, Lincoln and Robinson Correctional Centers.

Three additional prisons in the system will be piloting this program each month. By 2011, thirty correctional facilities throughout the state of Illinois will be outfitted with telemedicine solutions to treat inmate with HIV and Hepatitis C.

Each telemedicine center has a screen with AMD's General Exam Camera and Telephonic Stethoscope connected to a UIC telemedicine unit. "With the help of AMD's telemedicine equipment, doctors at the university will be able to hear a patient's live heart and lung sounds. University doctors will also be able to use AMD's camera to see the patient and make a diagnosis," explained Stephond Robinson, Telemedicine Coordinator at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

"Implementing correctional telemedicine within the Illinois correctional systems is not only a much safer option as it keeps violent criminals needing to be seen by a doctor out of the community, but it also drastically reduces transportation costs as well as the individual costs of each medical consultation," stated Steven Normandin, president of AMD Global Telemedicine.

About AMD Global Telemedicine
AMD is a Telemedicine Encounter Management Systems company (TEMS™) and the worldwide leading supplier of telemedicine technology, devices, and application software for both dynamic encounters (live telemedicine) and deferred consultations. AMD Global Telemedicine, Inc. offers the market's preeminent diagnostic medical devices and tConsult™ Encounter Management Software that is equipped with device management, case creation, work flow and archival. AMD has over 5,800 installations in 79 countries and delivers solution design, turnkey installation, and training for telemedicine programs across the globe. For more information on AMD Global Telemedicine Inc., please visit www.amdtelemedicine.com, email pr(at)amdtelemedicine(dot)com, or call 866-449-8454.

Even Google, with its sophisticated network of telemedicine lawyers, gets in on legal doorways to telemedicine:

  

LAKE MARY, Fla., Sep 14, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Google /quotes/comstock/15*!goog/quotes/nls/goog (GOOG 482.50, +1.44, +0.30%) and Spectrum Bridge, Inc., together with the Hocking Valley Community Hospital announced today the deployment of the first TV White Spaces broadband trial network for healthcare providers in Logan, Ohio. With its excellent propagation and building penetration characteristics, this TV White Spaces solution enables the community and supporting healthcare providers to utilize affordable broadband while providing data transmission for telemedicine applications.

"I'm excited about working with Google, Spectrum Bridge and the Hocking Valley Community Hospital to bring this new technology to our region" said Congressman Zack Space (D-Ohio's 18th Congressional District). "I'm committed to always looking for new economic opportunities that will put Appalachian Ohio on the growth track. This new technology will mean better healthcare and a better quality of life for the Logan community."

The Hocking Valley Community Hospital is the first hospital to utilize the TV White Spaces technology for new applications. "We are pleased to be part of an exciting new technology that can dramatically improve medical and healthcare services to the people of the Logan, Ohio community" said LeeAnn Lucas-Helber, President and CEO of the Hocking Valley Community Hospital.

TV White Spaces are the unused TV broadcast channels made available by the June 2009 transition from Analog to Digital TV, and are well suited for wireless data networks. As a part of the National Broadband Plan, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) highlighted the enormous potential of TV White Spaces for delivering cost-effective connectivity for a wide range of consumer, business and government applications. In support of the FCC's goal to provide wireless broadband connectivity to hospitals, this deployment demonstrates the potential of TV White Spaces as a cost-effective broadband solution for healthcare.

"This is an exciting new deployment that demonstrates the potential of the TV white spaces to improve broadband and spark new applications in healthcare," said Larry Alder, business operations project manager at Google.

To improve broadband connectivity throughout the Logan, Ohio community, a wireless data link was established between a local ISP and the Logan-Hocking County Health Department, and other public areas providing improved broadband access.

Radios based on commercially available WiMax(TM) technology from Airspan Networks, Inc. were also strategically deployed in and around Hocking Valley Community Hospital to increase broadband access throughout the campus. The resulting applications include:

-- Wireless data transfer from first responder's vehicles

-- Indoor broadband access, yielding enhanced connectivity throughout the hospital

-- Outdoor video surveillance to provide additional security for hospital operations

"We are pleased to have worked closely with Google and the Hocking Valley Community Hospital to demonstrate the high value impact that TV White Spaces can bring to our daily lives," said Richard Licursi, CEO of Spectrum Bridge. "We look forward to continuing to deploy these networks with strong industry partners."

To ensure that the TV White Spaces network does not cause interference with licensed television broadcasts and other protected TV band users, the system operates under the control of Spectrum Bridge's intelligent TV White Spaces Database. This database dynamically assigns non-interfering frequencies to white spaces devices, and adapts in real-time to new TV broadcast operations, as well as other protected TV band users operating in the area. TV White Spaces availability can be determined for any location in the US by using the free search tool at www.SpectrumBridge.com or by downloading the free Spectrum Bridge TV White Space application from Smart Phone Application Stores.

About Google Inc.:

Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top Web property in all major global markets. Google's targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall Web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.google.com.

About Hocking Valley Community Hospital:

Hocking Valley Community Hospital is a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital, with an 18-bed Skilled Nursing Facility, and a 10-bed Geriatric Psychiatric unit, serving Hocking County, Ohio and surrounding counties in the Hocking Hills region. As a Joint Commission accredited hospital, they provide broad-based medical care through their own diagnostic and treatment capabilities and in conjunction with their medical staff which includes specialties in hospital medicine, family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, urology, pathology, oncology, general surgery, orthopedics, radiology, and emergency medicine. Our medical staff is comprised of over sixty physicians.

About Spectrum Bridge, Inc.:

Spectrum Bridge, Inc. (SBI) delivers software and services to wireless service providers and equipment manufacturers. SBI enables wireless networks to access and use all types of spectrum at any place or time via a database driven cognitive network architecture. The Company's products are embedded in subscriber devices and network equipment to more efficiently allocate bandwidth throughout the entire wireless network. SBI's technology provides customers greater capacity, coverage and utilization of scarce spectrum resources. Spectrum Bridge is privately held and headquartered in Lake Mary, Florida. For more information, contact us at (866) 598-7426 or visit SpectrumBridge.com.

SOURCE: Spectrum Bridge, Inc.

And in Iowa, docs use screens for telemedicine consults:


A video camera and big screen television have
opened a new world of help for persons seeking mental health
counseling in Monona County.
		

Since April, patients can receive counseling through telemedicine at Burgess Mental Health Center, Onawa, and the Maple Valley Clinic, Mapleton.

With the new service, patients visit with psychiatric physician assistant Albert Okine via teleconferencing. Okine, a provider with Dean and Associates in Sioux City, sees and hears patients on television screens in Onawa or Mapleton in real time through an Internet connection.

“This is just another way to extend our care to more people without leaving our office,” Okine pointed out. “It will be especially attractive during the winter time when we can see the same amount of patients because of this technology.”

Greg Nooney, Burgess director of mental health, was pleased with how accepting people were of this approach to discussing their mental health issues.

“The fears we had were unfounded,” he said. “People, especially those in their 20s and 30s, are used to looking at somebody on a computer screen. This doesn’t faze them.”

Okine was also surprised to discover what little apprehension the people had with this approach.

“Mental health counseling is by natural a face-to-face interaction, so I wasn’t sure how well this approach would work,” he said. “It didn’t take away from me at all to do it in this manner.”

Echoing that sentiment was Burgess psychiatric nurse Cindy Vaughn who is present in the room while Okine interviews patients.


			

Since April, patients can receive counseling through telemedicine at Burgess Mental Health Center, Onawa, and the Maple Valley Clinic, Mapleton.

With the new service, patients visit with psychiatric physician assistant Albert Okine via teleconferencing. Okine, a provider with Dean and Associates in Sioux City, sees and hears patients on television screens in Onawa or Mapleton in real time through an Internet connection.

“This is just another way to extend our care to more people without leaving our office,” Okine pointed out. “It will be especially attractive during the winter time when we can see the same amount of patients because of this technology.”

Greg Nooney, Burgess director of mental health, was pleased with how accepting people were of this approach to discussing their mental health issues.

“The fears we had were unfounded,” he said. “People, especially those in their 20s and 30s, are used to looking at somebody on a computer screen. This doesn’t faze them.”

Okine was also surprised to discover what little apprehension the people had with this approach.

“Mental health counseling is by natural a face-to-face interaction, so I wasn’t sure how well this approach would work,” he said. “It didn’t take away from me at all to do it in this manner.”

Echoing that sentiment was Burgess psychiatric nurse Cindy Vaughn who is present in the room while Okine interviews patients.

Internationally, Albania tackles telemedicine:

Albania is working to establish its first National Telemedicine Centre through an USAID-funded project implemented by the International Virtual e-Hospital Foundation.

The programme, which was first established in Kosovo in 2002, is part of a telemedicine network being built in the Balkans. According to USAID, it is "based on the successful model of the Kosovo Telemedicine Programme".

The project is headed by Dr Rifat Latifi, professor of surgery at the University of Arizona and founder of the International Virtual e-Hospital Foundation.


If you have legal questions concerning telemedicine and telehealth practices in New York, California, Massachusetts, Washington DC, and other states, contact a lawyer who knows the rules.

Consult an experienced health care law attorney who knows complementary medicine and integrative medicine for legal advice pertaining to any project involving allied health or CAM professionals.

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Our law office has attorneys with legal experience  in FDA matters, including guiding  clients involved in health care  delivery, group medical and private  medical practice, who are concerned  about issues at the interface of  federal and state law, concerned  about medical board discipline or  medical malpractice liability  issues.  We also review and draft informed  consent forms and guide  clients concerning a variety of health care law  issues.

If you  have legal questions concerning telemedicine and telehealth practices, HIPAA legal issues, health care reform questions, or        other health law matters in New York, California, Massachusetts, Washington DC, and other states, contact a lawyer who     knows the rules.

Consult an experienced  health care law attorney who                  knows     complementary medicine and  integrative    medicine     for       legal     advice     pertaining to any project     involving     allied    health    or CAM     professionals.

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Healthcare & FDA attorney Michael H. Cohen is a thought leader in healthcare law & FDA law, pioneering legal strategies in healthcare. wellness, and lifestyle markets. As a corporate and transactional lawyer, FDA regulatory attorney who also handles healthcare litigation, healthcare mediation and healthcare arbitration, and international healthcare & wellness law speaker, Los Angeles / Bay Area healthcare & FDA lawyer Michael H. Cohen represents conscious business leaders in a transformational era. Clients seek healthcare & FDA attorney Michael H. Cohen's legal savvy on all aspects of business law, healthcare law, and FDA law, including:

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