What do you do when you live in one of America’s mountainous regions and there isn’t a doctor for miles to treat a health-related emergency? Thankfully, most of us never have to worry about such a scenario, but for millions in the U.S. and worldwide, medical services are far away from their homes. This alone speaks volumes to the value of tele-health, also called telemedicine, a method whereby health care, health education and public health is delivered via telecommunications technologies. This method of care has the experts at Mentegram and numerous others worldwide busy developing and perfecting it as a means of superior care administration.
Research tells us that 70% of physician visits and 40% of ER visits can be handled by a p
hone call (1). As you could imagine, the cost savings associated with tele-health are significant, however, the financial benefit is not the only advantage of this method of care. Clinical success has also been documented (2). Many may question therapists’ ability to accurately and appropriately administer care from a remote location, however reports show that the use of tele-health to monitor patients with chronic illnesses or large quantities of dispersed patients leads to improved care (3). When used appropriately, care providers gather excellent information, make accurate diagnoses and develop effective treatment plans (3). In 2012, 308,000 patients were treated using tele-health, with maladies ranging across both mental and physical spectra. By next year, 1.4 million patients are expected to receive care using this method (4).
In the world of mental health, where the quality and accuracy does not depend largely on physical symptoms, tele-health is of great importance. In this spirit, tele-health specialists from all over the world gather yearly for the American Tele-health Association’s (3) annual conference. There, training is offered in tele-health systems, mental health platforms are integrated into existing health care delivery systems, and the most pressing issues surrounding telemedicine are explored. Specialists in mental health, mental health IT, traditional medicine and numerous entrepreneurs gather at this conference to explore new options in the application of care using telemedicine.
On the 3-5 May, the Mentegram team is heading to Los Angeles for the ATA’s 2015 conference. We have been selected to participate in ATA’s Telemedicin
e Investor & Strategic Summit, where we will be pitching our business plan to potential investors and health systems. Apart from presenting the Mentegram software to a roundtable of investors, strategists and advisors, we will also be joining the information exchange that is constantly happening in the tele-health space. For thousands of Americans and millions worldwide, this is a time when experts gather to explore ways to better bring care home for them.
The hope for our involvement in the conference? One day, care would be no more than an app or phone call away for people at home and abroad.
- Pantos, George. “Telehealth and the U.S. College Population.” HPM Institute. February 2013. Web. 22 April, 2015.
- Conn, Joseph. “Report finds telehealth service are cost effective, clinically successful.” Modern Healthcare. 11 July, 2013. Web. 22 April, 2015.
- American Telehealth Association. “Telemedicine’s Impact on Healthcare Cost and Quality.” American Telehealth Association. April 2013. Web. 22 April, 2015.
- Herts Thomas, Beth. “Telemedicine: patient demand, cost containment drive growth. Mordern Science Network. 10 February, 2013. Web. 22 April, 2015.