COVID-19 Information

Will Coronavirus Spark the Overdue Platform Revolution in Healthcare?

Medium

March 20, 2020

"On March 17, the Trump Administration announced the expansion of telehealth for Medicare patients. The goal is to cope with the coronavirus by easing existing restrictions on telehealth usage," writes Professor Geoffrey Parker and co-authors in a Medium piece about how the COVID-19 pandemic may spark a platform revolution.

"Telehealth allows physicians and other providers to communicate with patients directly via online video applications, such as Skype, FaceTime, and Zoom, rather than meeting patients face-to-face. Telehealth will reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19. In addition, restrictions have been loosened on transferring patient diagnosis and treatment data across providers to facilitate telehealth treatment.

"However, transferring that information is very difficult because the electronic health records (EHR) systems that contain patient diagnosis and treatment data for one health provider often cannot communicate with other providers’ EHRs. This limitation could endanger millions of senior patients with comorbidities, such as diabetes, heart disease, and emphysema, who are particularly at risk of coronavirus because telehealth providers can’t get direct access to their medical data."

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