The Arizona Telemedicine Program Blog

When the UA Wildcats hosted Northern Arizona University at the teams’ 2013 football season opener in Tucson, a new NAU “team member” stood on the sidelines, ready to make a bit of medical history.

VGo – a four-foot-tall telemedicine robot on wheels – was standing by, ready to assist, should any injured player show signs of concussion.

National telehealth policy and law leader Alexis Gilroy, JD, will speak at SPS 2016.

Full disclosure: I’m the co-coordinator of the conference I’m about to tell you about. But—still on the full disclosure front—I’m a cynical person who doesn’t get excited easily. I’ve been going to healthcare and telehealth conferences since 2005, so I’ve become a little jaded when it comes to listening to presentations and panels.

And yet, I’m very excited about SPS 2016.

Last year showed us that telemedicine continues to be an innovative alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar health care. The number of providers offering telemedicine services notably increased, and several states enacted laws requiring health plans to cover telemedicine. Here are four key trends that will drive the continued growth of telemedicine to transform health care in 2016.

2015-2016 AZ Rural Health Association Board of Directors (photo courtesy of Alison Hughes)

Only 10 percent of the nation's doctors work in rural areas, where 25 percent of Americans live. The Arizona Rural Health Association is looking toward university-bound Arizonans and the Arizona Telemedicine Program as two critically important solutions.

Image depicting Health devices are increasingly “connected”

From connected refrigerators that display the latest family photos to connected buttons that instantly place an order for laundry detergent when you press them, the Internet of Things is vast and growing rapidly. Health care is not immune to this new connected fever. Health care leaders and innovators are quickly developing connected health things that offer powerful new ways to care for people.

The Arizona Telemedicine Program often hosts interactive tours between Phoenix and Tucson.

Like most Americans, Janet Major is thankful today for her family, friends, and all the good things in her life. One of those good things is working at a job she loves. 

Janet is associate director for facilities and distance learning outreach for the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP). She’s been with ATP since 1997, when the first telemedicine site was installed at what is now called Maricopa Community Health Center in Nogales, AZ. Janet was on the team that installed it.

Over the past 18 years she has traveled throughout Arizona, helping to grow the ATP network that now links with more than 150 healthcare sites statewide. She also serves as vice chair, and chair elect, of the American Telemedicine Association’s Technology Special Interest Group, and is a board member representing telehealth with the U.S. Distance Learning Association. 

Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center located in Show Low, Arizona.

Show Low is a city of about 11,000 in the White Mountains of northeastern Arizona, a summer vacation haven. The city got its name after a high-stakes poker game in which one of the players met the other’s challenge to “show low” with a deuce of clubs. The winner’s take was a 100,000-acre ranch. The game is said to have been played by “early settlers” of the city, which was founded in 1870.

But Show Low is becoming better known today for its Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center, an 89-bed hospital serving a 3,300 square mile area. Services offered include a level-two nursery; cardiac care; home health care; general, vascular and plastic surgery; a cancer center that offers radiation and medical oncology; and wound care and hyperbaric center.


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