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Blog Post

Telehealth Proves its Mettle in the First and Third World

Posted by Norman Miglietta on 10/30/2012

While our team was busy at MobileCON 2012 earlier this month, our President and COO Alex Brisbourne pulled a double-shift, moonlighting as a contributing editor at Healthcare Finance News. His piece “4 telemedicine lessons Third World can teach industrialized countries” hit the Internet in early October, and in it Alex describes the important advantages that wireless enablement creates for healthcare providers and patients across the globe.

In places like the U.S. and continental Europe, telemedicine is largely about controlling costs, improving patient quality-of-life and improving treatment outcomes, he says, while “in developing regions, where cellular connectivity has become largely ubiquitous, telemedicine shines as a potent means simply to expand the reach of top flight healthcare with skilled medical diagnosis, treatment and prevention capabilities.”

On the cost side, wireless connections promote more efficient use of prescribed “in-field” equipment such as sleep apnea masks, glucose monitors and Holter monitors. These same connections can also help ensure that the equipment gets used as directed. By being connected, treatment facilities put themselves in better position to obtain proper financial reimbursement, without having to jump through reporting or administrative hoops. Treatment can be documented and credentialed in real-time.

More importantly, however, telemedicine allows treatment to take place within the patient’s own healing environment which is known to be more efficacious in nearly every treatment scenario. Interestingly, the mere need to “go to the doctor’s” can become a deterrent to treatment because it is time-consuming, inconvenient and candidly not necessarily easy to accomplish for all factions of society (especially in the era of $4+/gallon gasoline). Telehealh applications reduce or remove this barrier from the treatment equation.

But perhaps the most intriguing opportunity for telemedicine is in supporting the growing trend towards “Medical Tourism.” While it may seem counterintuitive, many first-world patients have found success going abroad for major surgical procedures, whether elective or critical in nature. In fact, certain pockets of the Third World offer extremely high-quality surgical specialties at a fraction of the cost of having the procedure done locally. India is renowned for its heart and lung surgeons, for example; Eastern Europe has a reputation for high-end orthopedics.

Telemedicine can help make this process more of a managed experience for patients and provide them with a psychological comfort level by connecting with these doctors both pre- and post-procedure. Eventually, telemedicine may allow for data integration directly to the patients’ primary care physicians.

Given all these important implications for human wellness, it really comes as no surprise to us that the medical segment is now the single largest market of new M2M device additions for KORE. If you have a specific use-case scenario in mind, please contact us. We can advise you toward the M2M network solution that will most appropriately fit your needs.

By Stein Soelberg, Director of Marketing

Stein leads a team whose responsibility is to own the branding, advertising, customer engagement, loyalty, partnership and public relations initiatives designed to propel KORE into the 21st century. With over 15 years of technology marketing experience in the business to business software, Internet services and telecommunications industries, Stein brings a proven track record of launching successful MVNOs and building those brands into leaders.