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The End of the Virtualist: Making the Case Against Telemedicine as a Specialty

“In five to 10 years, we’re not going to talk about telehealth, it’s just going to be health,” said John Kornak, director of telehealth at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. (Medscape March 2, 2016)

While telemedicine isn’t a new healthcare IT offering, having existed for over a decade in one form or another, the concept of virtual care has continued to evolve from a novel “nice to have” to an important part of the comprehensive care delivery system. As even newer applications are piloted and integrated into advanced models of care, the industry as a whole is in agreement that virtual care has yielded significant advantages in the form of decreased costs, enhanced patient safety and greater efficiencies across the clinical workflow.

Like fax, email, the internet and other new health IT innovations like the EHR before it, telemedicine solutions represent a powerful tool to extend and enhance physician to patient interaction and care team collaboration. The healthcare ecosystem will adapt and adopt over time and telemedicine interactions will eventually become a core component to driving better patient outcomes.  Virtual care technology will not ever replace in-person care; rather, it will allow physicians to have access to more care opportunities and be able to select one or a combination (remote specialist, in-person internist) of options that is most appropriate for a specific patient’s needs at a particular moment.  There is no validity in vendors’ calls for specialized physicians to practice telemedicine, since telemedicine can be used by all physicians to effectively extend and make more accessible many existing evaluation and examination protocols in a more efficient manner.

People disagree on this point. Some players in the telemedicine sector are quite vocal in their belief that remote care should in and of itself be a medical specialty — even going so far as using the term “virtualist” to describe the offering.  This is ludicrous. A law office, for example, does not have an “emailist” or “video conference-ist” on staff. Rather, the ability to communicate with today’s modern tools is a competency that workers have all gained and integrated into their primary job functions over the years. Similarly, with telemedicine every doctor should and will be looking to technology to seamlessly augment their current roles as physicians, ultimately leading to more efficient and effective patient interactions.

Telemedicine has come a long way since it was first introduced to the market, and in 2016 it will continue to change the healthcare delivery model, meeting the demands of a new generation of patients for remote counsel and care and of physicians who are eager to reap the benefits of a virtual care offering. Today, the industry continues to find new and exciting outcomes producing methods of integrating the technology to better engage patients and maximize efficiency and care.  What’s important to remember is that telemedicine is an enabling technology – a tool — and not an end in itself.

SnapMD Named Top 10 Telemedicine Technology

LOS ANGELES, CA (PRWEB) APRIL 25, 2016

Telemedicine innovator SnapMD announced today that it has been selected by Healthcare Tech Outlook as one of the top 10 telemedicine technology solutions for healthcare providers and their patients. SnapMD is recognized as the next-generation telemedicine platform with “a system design and winning business model” for health systems seeking to launch telehealth services of various kinds to their patient populations (read full profile article: http://bit.ly/1Vi6Pvi).

“Congratulations to the entire team of SnapMD. This is well-deserved recognition for not only developing a powerful new point-of-care platform, but also in helping healthcare providers operate more competitively and effectively through the use of its unique technology,” said Alex D’Souza, Managing Editor, Healthcare Tech Outlook. “We are delighted to showcase SnapMD this year for its continued innovation in delivering bleeding-edge healthcare IT solutions.“

Continuing a powerful trend, with recent accolades by CIO Magazine as a “top 5 healthcare IT innovator,” a prestigious nod from Becker’s Hospital Review as a “top 25 healthcare technology disruptor,” and a selection by MarketResearch.com as one of the “top 10 telemedicine companies to watch in 2016,” SnapMD has built wide market approval for its Virtual Care Management (VCM) telemedicine platform.

Dave Skibinski, President and CEO of SnapMD said, “The growth of telehealth services is expanding and accelerating in 2016 as healthcare providers utilize telemedicine technologies as a new way to extend their reach of care. To fully understand how quickly things are moving, you need not look any further than a recent statement made by Dr. Robert Pearl, Executive Director and CEO of the Permanente Medical Group, who noted that, ‘by 2018, Kaiser Permanente will perform more virtual visits than in-person office visits.’”

SnapMD’s VCM private-label platform delivers a comprehensive, easy-to-use, and efficient enterprise solution to healthcare providers seeking to extend and elevate patient care continuity. The cross-platform system empowers providers to connect their patients to multi-disciplinary teams of clinicians via a secure, video-based, integrated virtual clinic, helping to increase brand value and maximize patient engagement and retention.

“The number of business models and use cases that providers have launched with our VCM platform has been staggering. From large integrated health systems to smaller practices, we are seeing management of diabetic patients, primary care patient assessment for long-term care, and expansion of employee and occupational health programs, to name just a few,” said Skibinski.

For more information regarding the importance of telehealth and its role in the healthcare delivery mix, download the white paper published by SnapMD, “Virtual Care Management, The Role of Telehealth in Building a Patient-Centric Environment” here: http://bit.ly/1qEkcc2

About SnapMD

SnapMD is the Virtual Care Management (VCM) telemedicine software leader, enabling healthcare providers to engage their patients via a secure, HIPAA compliant, cloud-based telemedicine platform. SnapMD’s robust, private-label, VCM application is specifically designed to give healthcare organizations another option to improve access to care by launching virtual care telehealth services under their brand utilizing their highly qualified, patient-trusted providers. For more information, please visit: http://www.snap.md

Read the full profile here >>

 

SnapMD One of the 15 Fastest Growing Startups

NamedTop15-LA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SnapMD is now one of the 15 fastest growing startups based in Los Angeles according to Mattermark. Read the full article here.

 

Top Telemedicine Platforms You Might Not See: SnapMD

[Full article published by iTelemedicine]

This month, iTelemedicine will look at telemedicine platforms in two articles. In this segment, we examine two “behind-the-scenes” platforms making great strides in the market, yet remaining “invisible”. One provides easy adoption of telemedicine technology into existing operating models in a “white label” solution. The other captures data from a multitude of apps and devices, delivering that data to providers and partners in a single, coherent, and secure connection. All without being seen or heard.

Read full article here

Co-founder George Tierney’s Interview with MedCity News

Recently SnapMD’s co-founder and COO, George Tierney sat down with Stephanie Baum of MedCity News to discuss the company’s Virtual Care Management cloud telemedicine solution and his views on the direction of the industry at large. Read the full interview here.  

SnapMD: 1.15 Release Notes

Admin Interface Updates

New File Sharing Feature

Making forms and/or documents available to all Clinician or Patient users is now as simple as uploading to the appropriate folder within the ‘Files’ tab of the Admin interface.  Once you upload a file into one of these folders, it is automatically made available to all members of that user group in the form of a shared, read-only, directory.  Clinicians and Patients are then able to download these files or copy them to a directory of their own.

filesharing

On-Demand Availability Schedule

The user-interface for the On-Demand Availability Schedule has been updated so that the full name of each clinician is now displayed.  Additionally, there is a color indicator to the left of the clinician’s name that matches the color of their schedule on the calendar view.

  • To view or edit a schedule, select a clinician from the drop-down in the left column (you can view up to 5 at a time).
  • To remove a clinician from view, click on the green checkmark to the right of their name.

schedule

General

In addition to bug fixes and overall performance enhancements, this release includes:

  • Updated Screen Design for Patient Account Activation
  • Improved ICD-10 Code Search Capability
  • Removal of SnapMD Branding from Browser Tabs

Known Issues

  • Average wait time on patient waiting list is not calculating correctly
  • Dependents display as caregivers
  • The following are known issues for this version of the VCM platform from the WebRTC client libraries:
    • Audio distortion issue on the iPhone 6s and 6s+ running in iOS 9.
    • Firefox:  If the user clicks “Always Share” when granting access to the camera, you can only use that camera. You cannot set the video source to another camera.

Important User Tips & Information

Browser Hard Refresh and Clear Cache

In order to ensure the best performance, we recommend doing a ‘hard refresh’ to make sure that your browser is accessing the newest version of your Virtual Care Management platform web pages and not old information stored from a previous visit.

The method for doing a hard refresh can vary between operating systems and browsers, so we have included instructions below for some of the most common scenarios.

Link to Wiki providing common hard refresh procedures:

http://wiki.scratch.mit.edu/wiki/Hard_Refresh

Link to common procedures to clear your browser cache:

http://www.refreshyourcache.com/en/home/

Local Network Requirements

Video Conferencing in Firewall and NAT Deployments:  SnapMD’s Virtual Care Management platform requires allowing access to its services over specific ports to function. A network administrator in your organization can configure these firewall settings.

Ideal / Recommended:

  • TCP port 443 open outbound
  • UDP ports 1025-65535 open outbound.

Video Requirements

The Virtual Care Management telemedicine platform is currently supported in the following desktop browsers (latest release):

  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Opera

Mobile OS Native Apps – Patient Consultation Experience

  • Android 4.1+ (supported devices from Samsung, Google Nexus, Motorola Moto, and LG Optimus families. Also works on x86 devices.)
  • iOS 6+

Your patients can download the Virtual Care mobile app on their Android and iOS mobile devices, allowing them to use that device to connect to their established account and participate in live, virtual telehealth consultations with their associated service provider.

VirtualCareMobile

Virtual Care

Get the native app for iOS and Android


Get it on Google Play
Download_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_135x40

 

 

 

VCM White Paper

SNAPMD PUBLISHES NEW VCM WHITE PAPER

Virtual Care Management (VCM) Telemedicine Enhances Patient Care

LOS ANGELES, CA – (WIRE SERVICE) 10/07/2015 – SnapMD, the Virtual Care Management (VCM) telemedicine software leader, today published a new white paper, “Virtual Care Management, The Role of Telehealth in Building a Patient-Centric Environment.” (Insert Link) The downloadable SnapMD white paper provides a thorough overview of the U.S. healthcare landscape and explores telemedicine growth, opportunities and pitfalls.

Download Complimentary Copy of White Paper Here

SnapMD’s VCM platform is one of the most important advances in patient-centric medicine today. VCM telemedicine technology offers healthcare providers powerful tools to find efficiencies in personnel utilization, while continuing to deliver quality care for a growing audience of patients and their families. By 2016 the number of patients accessing telehealth services is expected to double from that found in 2013.The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently stated that mHealth, defined as the practice of medicine and public health supported by mobile devices, is projected to be a $26 billion industry by 2017.

Dave Skibinski, President and CEO, SnapMD said, “The growth of telehealth services available to patients is expanding and will accelerate in 2016, as healthcare providers utilize telemedicine technologies as a new way to expand access to care. Consumer interest, acceptance and confidence in telehealth are growing as well. A recent report published by the American Hospital Association (AHA), found that 74 percent of U.S. consumers would use telehealth services and 76 percent of patients prioritize access to care over the need for human interactions with their healthcare providers.”

SnapMD’s VCM private-label platform delivers a comprehensive, easy-to-use, and efficient solution to healthcare providers seeking to extend and elevate healthcare continuity to their patients. By connecting patients to a multidisciplinary team of clinicians remotely, a secure video-based, integrated consultation system can help increase the brand value of the practice, and maximize patient engagement and retention.

Download Complimentary Copy of White Paper Here

“The number of different business models and use cases that providers have launched with our VCM platform is exciting. From large health systems to smaller practices, we are seeing management of fragile diabetic patients, primary care patient assessment for long-term care and expansion of employee health and occupational health programs, to name just a few,” said Skibinski.

About SnapMD

SnapMD is the Virtual Care Management (VCM) telemedicine software leader, enabling healthcare providers to engage patients via a secure, HIPAA compliant, cloud-based telemedicine platform. SnapMD’s robust, private-label, VCM application is specifically designed to give healthcare organizations another option to improve access to care by launching virtual care services under their brand utilizing their highly qualified, patient-trusted providers. For more information, please visit www.snap.md

Download Complimentary Copy of White Paper Here

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SnapMD: 1.14 Release Notes

Virtual Care Mobile Apps!

The Virtual Care Mobile App is Now Available at the Apple and Google Play Stores

Your patients can now download the Virtual Care mobile app on their Android and iOS mobile devices, allowing them to use that device to connect to their established account and participate in live, virtual telehealth consultations with their associated service provider.

VirtualCareMobile

Virtual Care

Get the native app for iOS and Android


Get it on Google Play
Download_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_135x40

General

In addition to bug fixes and overall performance enhancements, this release includes:

  • New Screen Designs for Customer & Physician Consultation History View
  • Improved APIs for Third Party Vendors and Clients
  • File Sharing Upgrades
  • Reporting Fields Added

Important User Note

Browser Hard Refresh and Clear Cache Needed

In order to ensure the best performance, we recommend doing a ‘hard refresh’ to make sure that your browser is accessing the newest version of your Virtual Care Management platform web pages and not old information stored from a previous visit.

The method for doing a hard refresh can vary between operating systems and browsers, so we have included instructions below for some of the most common scenarios.

Link to Wiki providing common hard refresh procedures:

http://wiki.scratch.mit.edu/wiki/Hard_Refresh

Link to common procedures to clear your browser cache:

http://www.refreshyourcache.com/en/home/

———————————————–———————————————–

Video Requirements

The Virtual Care Management telemedicine platform is currently supported in:

  • Google Chrome (latest release version)
  • Google Chrome for Android (latest release version)
  • Firefox (latest release version)
  • Firefox for Android (latest release version)
  • Opera (latest release version)
  • NOT Currently supported by Safari

Video data uses port 443. Port 443 must be open on local network.

———————————————–———————————————–

Known Issues

  • Mobile app redirection error
  • Users occasionally auto-logged out without notification
  • Some attached files not immediately visible on Post Consultation Report
  • RxNT credentials not saved in Admin interface
  • Chat entries mislabeled
  • Dependents display as caregivers

The following are known issues for this version of the Virtual Care Management platform on WebRTC JavaScript library.

  • Issues setting video source for a Publisher in Firefox:  In a page loaded via HTTPS, if the user clicks “Always Share” when granting access to the camera, you can only use that camera. You cannot set the video source to another camera.
  • WebRTC is a peer-to-peer protocol, and it is possible that connections will fail to connect; the most common cause for failure is a firewall that the protocol cannot traverse.

SnapMD Powering Telehealth in Mississippi

[WJTV 12, Published: September 23, 2015, 10:35 pm, by By Byron Brown]

SnapMD client TelehealthONE has teamed up with Fred’s pharmacy to offer Telehealth services to Mississippians.

The flag-ship location is a remote walk-in clinic at the Fred’s pharmacy in Flora, MS. With this new technology patients will be able to talk face to face with a nurse practitioner on a screen.

“We’re able to get actual real live pictures of a patients eardrum, we’re able to listen to soundbites of their heart, we’re able to listen to sound bites of their breathing,” said Heather Mangum with TelehealthOne.

Mangum says the patients should get in and out in about 15 to 30 minutes and that’s good news for Maebell Kelly who drives 22 miles to canton just to see a doctor. The Fred’s is only a mile from her home. She says,

“That’s very convenient because we go to Canton to the doctor then have to come back here to pick up our medication and some people don’t have transportation, so it is really handy, you don’t have to pay for transportation, so we’re glad to have it here in Flora.”

The clinic opens tomorrow morning at 8:00. Flora is the first location for TelehealthONE but the company plans to expand to other locations.

Hillary Clinton Touts Promise of Telemedicine

Telemedicine got its first shout out from a presidential candidate Wednesday when Hillary Clinton spoke about the tech during a speech in Iowa.

The former Department of Defense Secretary said that telemedicine can help ease worries in the state over increasing closures of rural hospitals, according to Politico.

“[W]e should streamline licensing and explore how to make that reimbursable under Medicare,” she said.

READ FULL STORY: http://bit.ly/1i5nHo7

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