The Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to maximize telehealth’s ability to improve health outcomes, care delivery, and cost effectiveness.

CCHP Newsroom

  • Telehealth in New Jersey Hindered By a Lack of Awareness

    mHealth Intelligence

    Healthcare providers looking to launch a telehealth platform should be reminded to first make sure their potential patients know what it is and what it can do. That’s the dilemma facing New Jersey lawmakers, who are grappling with new legislation to regulate telehealth even as a recent survey finds that most New Jersey residents have never used it. Conducted by the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute (NJHCQI) and Rutgers University’s Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling, the recent survey of some 772 New Jersey residents found that only 16 percent have received healthcare through telehealth. And while a majority of residents surveyed say they would be comfortable using telehealth for some services, like prescription refills or an online consult to see if an in-person visit is warranted, they’re less willing to use an online platform to address an urgent medical condition – 62 percent were either “not very comfortable” or “not comfortable at all” with using telehealth for emergency care. They were also evenly split on using telehealth for therapy or counseling, and only 53 percent were very or somewhat comfortable with sending and receiving personal health information via telehealth. 

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  • Small Hospitals Turn to Telemedicine for ER Services

    mHealth Intelligence

    A small hospital on Prince Edward Island may turn to telemedicine to keep its emergency department open 24 hours a day. Officials with Health PEI, Prince Edward Island’s island-wide health system, are discussing a virtual visit platform for Kings County Memorial Hospital, a 30-bed community hospital in Montague. The hospital was forced to reduce its emergency room hours to 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. last year. That decision didn’t sit well with local residents. Last July, Montague’s town council voted to support a local businessman’s bid to launch a telemedicine pilot at the hospital. "The technology is available, is well-proven, we're not re-inventing the wheel," Ray Brown told CBC News, estimating the project would cost $20,000 to $28,000. "We're simply taking the best of technology that is available elsewhere in the world. If you become sick on the space station, you're seen immediately by a doctor via telemedicine … I'd like to see the same services here in Montague." Many small and rural hospitals across North America are struggling to stay afloat, facing competition from consumer-facing online telehealth platforms, retail health and urgent care clinics. Just this month, St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in Cornwall, N.Y. and Baptist Hospital in Orange, Calif., shut down its emergency department due to a decline in business. 

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  • mHealth Study Uses Sensors, Analytics to Detect Sickness Before it Happens

    mHealth Intelligence

    mHealth wearables that continuously monitor vital signs may soon be able to detect sickness before the user even becomes sick. That’s the gist of a study of fitness monitors and other wearables conducted by the Stanford University School of Medicine and recently published in PLOS Biology. And it points to the potential of an integrated mHealth, precision medicine and AI-enhanced platforms that can identify changes in health patterns before they occur. The Stanford team, led by Michael Snyder, PhD, a professor and chairman of the university’s genetics program, captured nearly 2 billion biometric signs from 43 participants, including data from wearable sensors and taken from lab tests. Participants wore between one and seven devices that could capture more than 250,000 measurements a day. According to the study, the Stanford team used these measurements to establish a baseline for each participant, measuring patterns in heart rate, temperature, breathing rate, activity and sleep, calories used, weight, blood oxygen levels and exposure to x-rays and gamma rays. The study also factored in environmental and other outside factors that could affect a person. When the wearables picked up variations in those baseline readings, researchers were tipped to the fact that the user’s body was reacting to something unexpected. For example, elevated temperatures and heart rate combined with increased levels of C reactive protein in blood tests might indicate someone is dealing with an inflammation, which could indicate an infection, autoimmune disease, even the presence of cancer cells. 

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