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Happy Thanksgiving

The first American Thanksgiving took place in October -- not November --1621. Pilgrims still new to America wanted to celebrate their first harvest in their new country with the Wampanoag Indians, with whom they maintained peace and good will for many decades. New land meant new ways to do good for others, and themselves..

Nearly 400 years have passed since that first Thanksgiving, and this year, those of us with the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) are thankful for the opportunities we have to work with you, and do good for others, and ourselves.

Nearing the end of 2018, some of us jotted down our thoughts about what we are thankful for this year. We hope you enjoy our comments, and wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving!

Hearing loss is one of the most common health conditions affecting older adults, but it affects individuals of all ages, from newborns on up. Known for its negative impact on communication, age-related hearing loss, if left untreated, can lead to depression and other health problems as well.  Despite the prevalence of hearing loss among older adults, a number of access barriers has contributed to the low uptake of hearing healthcare services.

There’s a lot of buzz in every industry around the Baby Boomer population these days. After all, this remarkably large group of adults is the biggest in history to face the issues of retirement and aging. That means aging Baby Boomers will bring challenges to our healthcare system over the next few years.

One of the biggest issues at hand is the increasing shortage of healthcare professionals to meet this aging population’s needs. There is hope on the horizon, however.

The Association of American Medical Colleges reported in May the results of its 2017 Medical School Enrollment Survey, which found that medical school enrollment has increased 29 percent since 2002-2003.

Telemedicine is growing with a forecasted market increase of 16.8 percent from 2017 to 2023. It is already used by more than 50 percent of hospitals in the United States and close to 1 million Americans, thanks to its cost efficiencies and easy access to healthcare services. 

While there are many benefits to telemedicine, they don't all come without valid concerns. The great news is that you can overcome these concerns by having a plan. Here are seven telemedicine concerns to take into account and effective strategies for overcoming them.

Telemedicine might sound like a strange fit for an industry that depends on human touch. For most of us, it's hard to imagine seeking treatment from a doctor using a screen or digital portal, rather than face-to-face in an office. But it’s been catching on for several years in many fields, including long-term care.

That’s because telemedicine provides solutions for several longstanding problems, including accessibility to care; the limited mobility of some patient communities including the  disabled and the elderly; and a generally inadequate patient-to-doctor ratio in many areas.

Telemedicine might redefine long-term care as we know it. But first, we have to remove some of the uncertainty and even a bit of a stigma around the technology.

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