September 16, 2020
Telehealth is no good if there is a poor connection. We have all heard the static, robot voices and watched a frozen screen. Network, internet, and bandwidth are all words patients and doctors are familiar with, but in the end, it only matters if they can communicate. Nearly 50 million people live in rural areas as defined by the CDC as non-urban. People in remote and rural areas lack access to high-level care and specialists putting them at 50% higher risk of death from unintentional accidents, stroke, and respiratory disease. Nautilus Medical is solving these issues in telehealth with a technology called TeleRay. This platform delivers better connections and quality by utilizing peer to peer connections and high-speed cellular networks when bandwidth is low.
On Telehealth: Timothy Kelley, CEO of Nautilus, said “Our rural and mobile doctors and professionals can use TeleRay in many situations.” He explained that TeleRay could view modalities such as ultrasound in real-time from remote locations. He said, “Emergency responders, maternal-fetal medicine doctors, cardiologists, and more can view the patient, the modality, and speak to the sonographer or technologist to get results that matter.” Ultrasounds can determine internal bleeding, injuries, and fractures miles away.
There are multiple medical situations where a specialist or higher-level professional must view images or consult in how they are acquired. COVID 19 has added to the triage issues in receiving patients, and remote lung sweeps with an ultrasound would help enable a more efficient intake of critical patients and where they can go in the hospital before arrival.
Nautilus Medical CTO Cody Neville likes to talk about the platform’s advantages, including the storage, sharing, and access to images after they are captured. “This gives immediate access with real-time tools to make a diagnosis from anywhere on any device.” He continued, “Its prime time for a platform like this that combines telehealth with radiology, TeleRay is the only platform that offers real-time viewing of the modalities which can be critical in high-risk situations where a specialist can virtually look over the shoulder of the sonographer or technologist as if they’re in the room to adjust, view, and consult.”
The financial benefits to complete telehealth platforms are immense. Beyond the clinical and triage benefits, implementing a virtual care option can help offset the decline in revenue due to reduced visits. Since 80% of all primary care visits do not need physical interaction, the efficiency of a 15-minute visit can be much better with fewer exam rooms and fewer parking requirements.
The main issue is making sure the connection is high-quality speed and access to additional data and images. Good quality helps ensure better outcomes, which is the goal of healthcare visits.