Increased Collaboration Necessary To Expand Telehealth, Group Says

iHealthBeat | The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is calling for increased collaboration between physicians and technical experts to expand the use of telemedicine technology, E-Health Insider reports.

IEEE and the American Medical Association are planning a conference in the fall to promote understanding between clinical and technical experts on telehealth issues.

Yongmin Kim — an IEEE fellow and professor of bioengineering and electrical engineering at the University of Washington — said telehealth technology already is available for deployment in both developed and rural areas.

Kim said, “We now need to make it easier for the health care providers to embrace and apply these technologies in diverse medical environments” (E-Health Insider, 8/1).

The organization also is working with federal officials on how to roll out telehealth applications and to secure funding to launch new products.

Meanwhile, telehealth experts agree there is a need for increased collaboration among biomedical engineers, health care providers and government agencies.

Yadin David — a senior member of IEEE and founder of the Center for Telehealth and e-Health Law — said, “It should be a shared goal — as far as collaboration.”

Simon Stevens — UnitedHealth Group executive vice president and chair of the UnitedHealth Center for Health Reform and Modernization — said, “The next few years will be times of considerable stress on rural health care, but also times of great opportunity, since across the country there are already impressive examples of high-quality care, tailored to the distinctive needs of the local community” (Horowitz, eWeek, 8/1).

According to IEEE, the adoption of smartphones and monitoring devices, and ultimately the development of censors to allow non-invasive monitoring of medical conditions, will help drive use of telehealth (E-Health Insider, 8/1).


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