Telehealth: A Popular Trend in Health Care

The transcript has been a standard medical documentation recordkeeping tool for centuries. Today that transcript may reflect a different kind of consultation or meeting. With advances in technology and the emergence of telehealth, health care practitioners and patients could be miles apart, yet still be interacting face-to-face. Telehealth is one of the top trends in health care delivery receiving attention in the news headlines across the United States and internationally.

A Policy Discussion
Telehealth policies are pending in United States’ state legislatures across the country. State medical boards are discussing telehealth policies, and according to news reports, the Federation of State Medical Boards is expected to consider an “Interstate Licensure Compact” proposal at an upcoming meeting. The FCC recently launched CONNECT2HEALTHFCC, a wireless health task force. And lobbying groups, including the Connected Care Alliance started by former Senators Tom Daschle, Trent Lott, and John Breaux, are engaging in the discussion.

A Featured Topic
Telehealth is not only in the headlines, but also a featured topic at health care conventions, technology expos, medical conferences, and between constituents and legislatures.

An Expanding Area
Nursing homes, private practices, clinics, assisted living facilities, home health agencies, hospitals, residential care facilities, correctional facilities, companies with hard-to-access work locations, and rural areas are exploring or already accessing telehealth to meet the needs of their patients, clients, and employees. Foundations and companies are also engaging in the telehealth arena through grants and alliances for specific health care programs.