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mHealth

Scanning electron micrograph of two COVID-19 virus particles against a background of human red blood cells (pseudo-color)

On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) categorized the 2019 Novel Corona Virus COVID- 19 disease outbreak “a public health emergency, of international concern, day after day “hitting closer to home.”

But on February 28 edition of Tech Trends offered more than a glimmer of hope:

Information Technology (IT) has transformed many areas and medical care is a key area that digitalization can affect and improve. Telemedicine is the application of medical care, diagnostics, information dissemination and treatment through digital and virtual processes. Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) were introduced in 1997 as part of a program that aimed to increase access to medical care in rural areas of the United States. They are typically small hospitals that are set up at least 35 miles from any other hospital and have a maximum of 25 beds. Further, they provide patients with essential medical services but to a maximum of 96 hours.

Telemedicine - otherwise known as virtual health - refers to the one-on-one consultations between patients and health professionals via video chat, phone call, or text message.

It’s the process of doctors treating patients remotely instead of face to face, using some sort of digital connection for the patient and doctor to connect for a health assessment or mental assessment in real-time. In other words, telemedicine is the answer to healthcare problems for people who work full-time, have young children, have no health insurance, or are otherwise unable to physically go and see a physician because of logistical challenges.

Arizona’s strength in rural is our many partnerships.  Arizona is the 6th largest state in the U.S. by area, and over 81.8 percent of all Arizona land is state, federal or tribal controlled; there is a lot of area to cover.  Plus, there is a lot of great work going on in all regions of Arizona, and we thought “let’s share this, let’s go on a “Virtual Road Trip” Via a webinar.  We reached out to folks and before we knew it, 12 groups volunteered to share their vision. 

And on November 21, 2019, we started our “Virtual Road Trip” in Tucson. 

Technology has disrupted every atom of our society, and medicine is no exception. Through the practice of telemedicine, experts can now expand their user base and grow their business, while patients can get quicker access to healthcare than ever before.

However, the applications of telemedicine in practice have not been well-marketed enough, resulting in the public being under-informed. That’s why the burden of proof, explaining the concept and actually selling the service comes down to telemedicine professionals themselves.

The point of this article is to offer medical professionals ideas to market themselves better and inform their patients about this alternative way of examining them from a distance.

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