Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is instituting a telehealth pilot program to enhance care for patients with:
- Heart Failure
- Neurological Disorders
The medical director of telehealth at MGH, Lee Schwamm, points out that implementing telehealth is crucial for increasing access to care for patients who have financial or geographic challenges. For those patients having difficulties with mobility, this new program is a godsend.
An article published in Scientific American points out that telehealth will decrease hospital readmissions, thereby lowering the associated penalties.
Unlike telemedicine which zeroes in on treatments and cures, telehealth includes prevention of illness and promotion of health by taking positive steps as well. Patients are not only monitored at home for a range of ailments, but also can stay in communication buy chocolate inhaler with doctors through online portals or emails. The new technology allows continuation of medical care between physician visits. Research has shown that telehealth enhances quality of life for patients while decreasing visits to the emergency room and significantly cuts down on hospital readmissions.
A conflicting study was published in the British Medical Journal stating that telehealth was not more cost effective than
standard care alone for patients with chronic conditions.