• warning: Illegal string offset 'files' in /usr/www/users/healthit/destinationata/modules/upload/upload.module on line 281.
  • warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_user::init(&$view, &$data) should be compatible with views_handler_field::init(&$view, $options) in /usr/www/users/healthit/destinationata/sites/all/modules/views/modules/user/views_handler_field_user.inc on line 47.
  • warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_node_new_comments::pre_render(&$values) should be compatible with views_handler_field::pre_render($values) in /usr/www/users/healthit/destinationata/sites/all/modules/views/modules/comment/views_handler_field_node_new_comments.inc on line 100.
  • warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init(&$view, &$options) should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /usr/www/users/healthit/destinationata/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 744.
  • warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /usr/www/users/healthit/destinationata/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /usr/www/users/healthit/destinationata/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate(&$form, &$form_state) should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /usr/www/users/healthit/destinationata/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 159.

Telehealth industry leaders talk about collaboration, standards

By Eric Wicklund, Senior Editor
TAMPA, FL – The use of remote patient monitoring technology should see continued growth as America adopts healthcare reform and concentrates on accountable care. What might slow things down, however, is a lack of standards.

That was the overlying message in one of Monday afternoon's industry council executive roundtables at ATA 2011. The session featured executives of six emerging telehealth vendors, who identified trends in the remote monitoring application market and wondered if everyone would one day be able to work from the same core set of guidelines.

"Our consumers, our customers, are frustrated with the fact that everyone of us has a different interface," said Louis J. Burns, CEO of Care Innovations, a new company borne out of a collaboration between Intel and GE Healthcare.

While many have criticized the various regulatory agencies, ranging from the Food and Drug Administration to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, for not developing a common set of standards, Burns said the telehealth industry should "stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the regulatory bodies rather than sit across the table from them."

Others wondered whether the industry is paralyzed because it can't define the standards needed to encourage adoption. "Are we 10 years out, or are the incentives aligned enough?" asked John B. Sory, executive vice president and chief development officer for ERT.

Allen Izadpanah, president and CEO of ViTel Net, said the telehealth industry will never see a "one size fits all" solution. He argued instead for a common platform, upon which the industry could collaborate.

Collaboration, in fact, seemed to be the word of the day. Burns lobbied for a pooling of data from telehealth pilots and studies, a gathering of all the data from all of the players so that a common framework could be found for how telehealth is measured and used in the future.

He also gave credit to healthcare reform – in particular, the development of accountable care organizations – for propelling providers to sit down with payers and other groups to take action. "The reality is that people are coming out of the stands and onto the playing field to do something," he said.

Jasper zu Putlitz, MD, president of Bosch Healthcare, said the rise of the accountable care organization has given cause for more participation in telehealth networks and collaborative projects. Through health reform measures, he said, healthcare providers will be forced to demonstrate quality outcomes, and will see incentives based on the value of healthcare delivery. With that in mind, he said, they're turning to telehealth vendors, payers and other interested parties to improve their methods.

"We're seeing a lot of growth in these new risk-based models," added Daniel L. Cosentino, MBA, CEO and president of Cardiocom. "Finally the quality and economics are starting to come together."

All involved in Monday's roundtable discussion agreed that telehealth should play an important role in healthcare reform. Beyond the more established roles of chronic care management and online clinical consults, they listed several areas where telehealth should break new ground, including clinical trials and research, medication adherence, mental health, child obesity, PTSD, dialysis and specialty cancer cases.

"In the end, telehealth is all about coordination," concluded Putlitz.

User login