TeleHealth: Today and Tomorrow
Digital Health Innovation San Diego has continued to grow as we further discussions in the community about some of the most pressing matters in the healthIT sector. To that point, our latest event was focused on TeleHealth and it’s growing impact on the healthcare industry.
Meet Our Panelists
Dr. Marlene Maheu
A dynamic speaker, trainer, consultant and author, Dr. Maheu has been a telemental health leader since 1994. As a telepsychologist and technology developer, she’s addressed over 200 audiences; trained over 15,000 professionals; and has consulted with large health and mental health insurance companies, community clinics, physician groups, universities, and independent practitioners seeking to bring various forms of technology to the behavioral services. She has been a staunch advocate for telehealth, with specialized interests in legal, ethical and other risk management approaches to developing and delivering behavioral services. Dr. Maheu is also the Executive Director of the TeleMental Health Institute, where behavioral professionals earn continuing education (CE) in a Certificate Program for telemental health. Her passion and focus have drawn a noted group of core and guest faculty members; over 3850 professionals from more than 39 countries for training, and 28 work/study scholars. Her leadership at the Institute has inspired the development of more than 90 hours of instructional materials, all available 100% online through a variety of desktop and mobile-compatible formats.
Jonathon Feit is Co-Founder & Chief Executive of Beyond Lucid Technologies, a software company that connects ambulances and hospitals prior to the patient’s arrival, and documents patients’ prehospital care over time. A widely published marketing expert focused on new media and the strategic use of information technology, Jonathon has presented to audiences that include the 2012 Morgenthaler Ventures DC to VC competition, Health 2.0, the mHealth Summit, the Skolkovo Foundation (Moscow), and Young Inventors International. In 2009 Jonathon was honored to serve as an MBA Intern in the White House Office of Management & Budget (Performance & Personnel Management division), where he helped spearhead the redesign and relaunch of USAJOBS.gov – the “Face of Federal Hiring.”
Now Let's Talk About the Event
One of the best aspects of the night were the conversations bubbling up between groups of attendees before the panelists had even sat down. Individuals including a range of engineers, investors, and a variety of Ph.D.’s were all excitedly discussing how they fit into the telehealth conversation. It created an energy surrounding the event that fueled open-mindedness and creativity. From the beginning, it wasn’t hard to see that everyone sitting in that room was dedicated to the thought leadership efforts surrounding telehealth.
The conversation covered a variety of topics including training and regulation. Dr. Maheu commented on the fact that states with many rural communities have some of the most evolved telehealth programs and legislative policies. They’ve been awarded federal money for years to make sure those rural communities got medical coverage making them matriarch's in telehealth. Now with the steadily growing telehealth industry moving across the entire country states like Georgia are beacons for telehealth that others are looking to.
Dr. Maheu also brought up the topic of biofeedback, and it’s relationship to telehealth. Nowadays, people are becoming more and more aware of their health thanks to wearables, health and fitness apps, etc. She talked about the beneficial opportunities provided by telehealth, pushing individuals to play a more active role in their own health management.
The world of wearables and remote patient monitoring tools is expanding so rapidly; there’s a massive amount of data being compiled. It’s becoming readily apparent that efficient processes in big data tracking and analysis will need to be developed to make the most out of the data that telehealth technology is gathering. All of the data being accumulated has the potential to track health trends in individuals as well as the long-term health trends in communities. For example, data tracking could show if some communities become genetically susceptible to an increased risk of cancer, stroke, etc. Big data is a door that could open a world of potential within the telehealth sector.
Panelist Jonathon Feit, CEO of Beyond Lucid, spoke about how his company has expanded their use of telehealth technology from relaying patient information via EMS workers before they reach the hospital, to monitoring and analyzing data about the individuals who are calling 911. They're tracking who these people are in an attempt to find the root cause of why they're calling. If they happen to be frequently non-emergency calls they can attempt to get them the non-emergency help they may need, such as food stamps or mental health services. As a result of this program and the technology behind it, 'frequent flyer' EMS callers were cut down by 51.75%, saving time and money all with the help of telehealth tools and data analysis.
As the panelists wrapped up, the audience wasn't shy to pepper the panelists with questions. They asked how the integrity of patient/doctor relationships will be maintained, how integration and adoption will be affected by changing legislation and more. The audience wasn't just interested in the idea of telehealth; they were more than knowledgeable about it as well.
Telehealth is an exciting industry even with its fair share of challenges. Though coming together in these smaller group settings, as a community of intellectuals and innovators will help ensure that telehealth can reach it's fullest potential. We're excited to continue the conversation and keep the community engaged in the healthcare revolution that's taking place across America.