Telehealth’s New Frontier: Emergency Medicine


Telemedicine has been a prominent buzzword over the past few years. With the advent of Covid-19 and the new respect for telemedicine services, telemedicine/telemedicine has become a major focus for healthcare institutions and physicians alike. US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Provides a broad definition: “Telemedicine (also known as telemedicine) allows doctors to provide care without having to visit a doctor’s office in person. Telemedicine is primarily done online by accessing the Internet from a computer, tablet or smartphone.”

Within the scope of this definition, telemedicine is not exactly what the practice of emergency medicine (EM) embraces. Given that the nature of EM entails a high degree of sharpness and critical care. However, despite these paradoxes, the specialty EM is slowly adapting to better utilize this innovative technology.

In fact, in the world of EM, various telemedicine methods are slowly being introduced. HHS divides them into five potential use categories:

  • Remote Classification: Telemedicine approaches are used to determine the severity of patient injuries and the treatment and resources needed.
  • Remote First Aid: “Remote emergency care connects providers in a central hub emergency room with providers and patients in spoke hospitals (often small, remote or rural) via video or similar telemedicine technology.”
  • Virtual Round: Reduce the number of physical providers and doctors needed on site by remotely monitoring emergency room patients.
  • Electronic Consultation: Providers and doctors may request counseling or specialized care for their patients.
  • Telemedicine for follow-up care: “Telemedicine technology could also be used to provide follow-up care for patients who have been classified but not sent to the emergency room or after they have been discharged from the emergency room.”

Recently, the American Medical Association published an article This is to confirm this concept. AMA news writer Tanya Henry recently explained: AMA Telemedicine Immersion Program Together with the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), we discussed innovative ways in which telemedicine could become a mainstream form of emergency care. This article quotes Aditi Joshi, MD, Chair of the Telemedicine Division of ACEP. “Emergency care does not take place in one place in a hospital, emergency physicians are trained to care for new acute care situations in any setting, including telemedicine.”

In line with this, educational programs are being prepared for this. For example, the Department of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University (GWU) provides: Telemedicine and Digital Health Fellowships. The purpose of this program is to “develop future leaders in telemedicine and digital health. […and…] To have a significant impact on the rapidly growing and changing fields of telemedicine, telemedicine, telehealth monitoring and mobile health, physicians will have clinical competence in telemedicine delivery, leadership in establishing new programs, and basic technical knowledge in telehealth delivery. and develop experience. .”

Thomas Jefferson University offers something similar. Telemedicine Leadership Fellowship. The program’s core focus is on four areas of leadership skills development, entrepreneurship, academic and research, and clinical experience, all of which are larger areas of telemedicine.

In fact, telemedicine has already rapidly expanded into other medical specialties, including neurology, cardiology and primary care settings. In particular, a significant benefit of this new approach is that it enables access to care and access to trained healthcare professionals for underserved populations and communities. For sure, time will tell what emergency medicine will undoubtedly have a significant impact in the years to come, as it joins the ranks of potential uses for telemedicine.

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