July 20, 2017

One Delaware doc on telemedicine in the First State: ‘The future is now’



Hispanic doctor talking with young woman patient on tablet
Copyright: rocketclips / 123RF Stock Photo

Telemedicine can augment traditional healthcare and streamline the patient experience, writes Dr. Al Atanda. I first used telemedicine in August 2014 when I performed a surgery on a 17-year-old male who lived about 90 miles from our hospital.

A week later, I learned he was having trouble adjusting his post-operative brace. His father asked if I could help him via FaceTime. I agreed and successfully showed him how to adjust it. I soon realized that it wasn’t necessary for he and his father to drive 90 miles for me to do in person what I had just done on FaceTime. I quickly realized that many other patients could potentially receive the same kind of care I provided him.

Most people probably think of telemedicine in an on-demand sense, such as the technology popularized by apps like Teladoc , MDLive , and Doctor on Demand . I primarily use telemedicine for established, scheduled patients.

Telemedicine works very well to evaluate patients for encounters focused on information transfer. This means simple follow-ups, routine post-ops, surgical discussions, wound checks, brace checks and MRI/lab-result reviews can all be handled through telemedicine.

For both patients and providers, the only hardware requirement for telemedicine visits is a device with […]

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