States can save more money with telehealth practices

Wednesday, April 27 2011

States around the country are looking for more ways to lower their deficits by seeking approval to use their Medicaid funds to promote telehealth efforts.

According to a 2010 study in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, the state of Indiana could potentially reduce its expenses by $13.4 million annually if 450 patients used telehealth systems that include video conferencing technology and remote sensors.

iHealth Beat explains that technology like video conferencing can easily be installed inside patients' homes so that they can be remotely taken care of by health specialists. This is especially useful for the elderly or individuals who may not be able to travel due to their illnesses. Additionally, sensors can be employed to detect internal changes in the patient's health or to remind him about medication.

To advance these efforts, perhaps states should focus on further publicizing the benefits of telehealth technology like video conferencing in localized areas so people can see its effectiveness. They can promote the advantage of telemedicine, benefitting not only the patients but also the state as a whole.