Google Plus Telemedicine: Is The Patient Ready?

February 11, 2012
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Health IT developers are producing medical applications for mobile users rapidly for both Android and iPhone, and soon for Window Phones.  Most of these are educational or for reference. There are some software applications for remote monitoring which are presently in the FDA approval process.

While pundits proclaim that patients clamor for direct “physician-patient” telemedicine”  Few if any real studies have been done to demonstrate this demand.

Until now there were few if any teleconference software that was affordable for medical practices and patients. In fact a teleconference room and/or facility costs in the range of five figures.  Skype has been available however it presents some limitations in regard to the number of participants unless users are subscribed to the paying service.

Health Train Express will be sponsoring a “Demonstration Project” on Physician-Patient Telemedicine.

I know, I know many will tell me I should not do this due to regulations and all, however progress is made by those willing to risk something in the name of REAL PROGRESS  instead of a bunch of committee meetings. Lett MDs be the arbiters of what works and doesn’t work. Once we demonstrate the need and demand for these services some innovator and entrepreneur will find a way to host medical teleconferences for an acceptable stipend.

The following caveats and disclaimers will be posted for each telemedicine conference to be held on Google + Hangouts.

[This is a “Demonstration Project in  telemedicine. The project will attempt to  determine what the demand is from patients for Primary Care and/or Specialty Care using Telemedicine  Because the Google + Hangouts are not encrypted we will only answer non specific general questions To be in compliance with HIPAA privacy and confidentiality laws DO NOT identify a problem or question with yourself. Please ask your questions in the third person (he, she, we, it)

We appreciate your interest in this telemedicine demonstration project. At the end of thirty (30) days the results will be published here in Health Train Express. The announcement will be posted on Twitter @glevin1  Facebook/gmlevin and Google +.

“During the Google + Telemedicine Hangout you will be asked if you agree to having your interview recorded.  If you decline it will not be recorded.  The recordings will be available to a closed panel of physicians and well known patient advocate and will not be released to the general public.  The review committee will comply with HIPAA regulations to protect your identity.  Your waiver of HIPAA regulations will only apply to the G+ interview.

AGAIN, DO NOT IDENTIFY YOURSELF IN THE INTERVIEW ]

Health Bloggers, #hcsm, #healthit #mapp # healthreform and #telemedicine readers, if you wish to join a telemedicine hangout contact me via email  at  gmlevinmd@gmail.com. You will receive an invite for each conference.

I invite other physicians to join as part of this ‘ground breaking use of affordable and existing platforms. The platform will allow multiple consultations for an individual or group of patients.

Google has “mothballed” the Google Health personal health record for the time being. The statistical results of the study will be shared with Google in the interest of a professional encrypted platform in the future. 

Providers, I hope to see  many of you in this hangout.   Please use twitter, FB, and/or email to communicate with other physicians and providers regarding the demonstration project.

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