It has been clear to us for some time that telehealth is on the move as a potent application for M2M communication. A couple of years ago, the medical device category was growing by only 2 percent from a much smaller base. It is a market on the move largely because of the obvious tangible value that telehealth offers to both medical and patient communities.
As measure of this value, the American Heart Association just issued new guidelines for early stroke treatment endorsing the use of telemedicine, for the first time in its history. The new guidelines appear in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke and support the development of regional networks of stroke centers, acute stroke-ready hospitals and community hospitals. At the same time, new legislation sponsored by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) calls for Medicare reimbursement of telestroke services.
In practice, telestroke services put stroke diagnosticians "virtually" at the bedside of any patient, either to augment an existing hospital’s neurologic coverage for 24/7/365 coverage or, for other extremely rural hospitals, it might become the only neurologic expertise consistently available due to their remote location. In its current iteration, telestroke services assume that a patient is physically at a healthcare facility, but we can envision M2M services that would make remote, perhaps even automated, diagnostics available to patients wherever they may be. For at-risk patients, such a solution could make a lot of sense and it could be programmed to send an automated alert to medical staff should certain physiological traits be detected, similar to M2M-based glucose monitors today. The idea is to ensure that patients don’t lose precious time between onset of a stroke and the administration of life-saving tPA (anti-blood clotting) or other critical therapy.
At all events, we are excited to see early-stage stroke treatment emerge as a key new category in telemedicine growth.
By Peter West, Business Development
With over 12 years of experience in the wireless industryspecializing in wireless data applications and solutions, Pete joined KORE 3.5 years ago. Pete's main focus at KORE is in Electronic Transactions and MRM applications and he spends his days helping companies launch their application using KORE network services. His expertise in the MRM industry stems from his time at Gearworks (now owned by Xora) where he helped launch Verizon's field force manager mobile MRM application to help them enter the world of GPS.