Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why Would You Want to See a Doctor Online?
11 Jul

Why Would You Want to See a Doctor Online?

Seeing a doctor online, or “telemedicine” is great option for sick individuals because not only does it allow patients to get medical advice right from their homes, it also lowers the physical load on physical healthcare facilities so that the more critical patients get better and faster care.

Benefits of Seeing a Doctor Online
Seeing a doctor online facilitates the access to healthcare for patients and ultimately improves their health outcomes. This not only saves time and resources but also the cost of managing those patients. Certain benefits of telemedicine include:

  • Patients in rural and remote areas can access specialty services easily
  • Saves travel and possibly accommodation cost of patients, traveling to reach the services far from their region
  • Earlier diagnosis results in early treatment
  • Saves unnecessary emergency room and/or urgent care visits
  • Addresses the shortage of healthcare providers
  • Employees do not have to miss hours or days of work just to see a doctor

Common Illnesses Manageable by Telemedicine
Although face-to-face discussion with the doctor is important and recommended in management of any disease, there are certain circumstances in which it’s not possible and telemedicine serves as the best possible way to receive expert advice from the specialists.

Certain illnesses that can be managed or their management improved through telemedicine include:

  • Second opinions: patients can discuss any of their diseases with another physician or specialist online and have a second opinion without going through the long process of appointments and traveling to another doctor
  • Common infections: common infections can be managed or reviewed through telemedicine. This also prevents the spread of those infections through patients interaction at the healthcare facility
  • Management of chronic illnesses: patients can be managed and reviewed regularly from home without the pain of going to healthcare facilities over and over again, including:
      • Diabetes
      • Stroke
      • COPD
  • During pregnancy: pregnant women can discuss and benefit from telemedicine without going to the hospital with every small change or symptom in daily routine. They can discuss with the experts through telemedicine to confirm if the symptoms is something serious or just a routine change
  • Psychological issues: patients with psychological issues can discuss their issues with the physicians and psychologists. This allows even those patients who are shy and hesitant to share their issues with family members and don’t want others to know about them by going to the doctors office physically

Remember that physically meeting the doctor is always better than virtual consultation, however there are various occasions in which telemedicine can be helpful for a number of patients in allowing them to not only get a better diagnosis but also helps them in better management of the disease once it’s diagnoses.

Infant Allergies
11 Jul

Infant Allergies

From time to time we will feature blog posts written by our customers. This one was contributed by Alison Brettschneider AKA “Allergy Mom.”

There are plenty of moments as a parent that stop you in your tracks. First smile, first crawl, first words, first steps. The exciting milestones that show your child is growing. There are others that stop you in your tracks for different reasons; they stop you in fear and worry, as you realize something may be wrong or harmful to your child. That moment for me was something as simple as my daughter having formula for the first time. I will never forget it. In an effort to help her gain weight, she was a tiny 13lbs at 8months old, her pediatrician suggested we supplement with formula in her rice cereal and an occasional bottle, as up until then she had been exclusively breastfed. As she took her first few bites, I noticed red patches forming around her mouth. She quickly became very fussy, I nursed her to try and calm her down, not realizing what was happening in her little body. After nursing shortly, she projectile vomited, her entire body, head to toe, was covered in raised hives. We gave her Benadryl, which we thankfully had on hand.

We called our pediatricians’ emergency hotline to see if we should bring her in. While waiting on a call back, she threw up again and her breathing became shallow. At that point we decided to get her to the emergency room. Once there they administered more antihistamines and a steroid to reduce the hives. The doctor affirmed our suspicions, most likely a food allergy. Her body was progressing in the stages of anaphylaxis. We left with a prescription for an Epi-pen and a million questions.

Over a year later, we’re still discovering the intricacies of food allergies. We avoided all dairy until we had her tested. Through skin testing at age one, we discovered our precious girl is allergic to dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts and oats. As a foodie, I was devastated. As a mother I was scared. So began endless research, label reading, and creative cooking. If you’ve discovered your child has food allergies, you know well that there are too many questions and not enough answers. One tiny blog post can barely scratch the surface. Looking back over our experience I have a few starting point tips I wish someone had shared with me.

1) Eczema/Baby Acne
These two things don’t always mean your child has food allergies, but they are common connections. My daughter had horrible baby acne for the first two months of life all over her face, once that subsided her entire body was covered in horrible patches of eczema (extremely dry skin). Nothing helped get rid of it, until we used a strong prescription strength steroid. Up until about 18months old she wore a button up cardigan one size too big with the sleeves closed at the end with a rubber band, a lifesaver, as she would scratch until she bled. If your child has horrible cases of either, keep Benadryl on hand when trying new foods, just to be safe.

2) When to Go to the Hospital
Thankfully, my daughters body fought hard enough that her breathing never stopped. When it comes to food allergies and anaphylaxis, there’s no messing around. If in doubt, take them! Things can progress so quickly, and unfortunately when it comes to anaphylaxis, literal seconds matter. Typically a reaction from ingestion of an allergen will begin with hives around the mouth, upon seeing this immediately administer Benadryl. If there’s any progression (vomiting, full body hives, or breathing issues) do not hesitate to call 911! When you call, it’s good to mention there may be a need for epinephrine, just so the paramedics are ready.

3) What Now?
After the first time your child has a reaction, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with the next steps. First, make an appointment with your pediatrician to get a referral for a local allergy specialist. Once you make an appointment with the specialist, they will setup another time to do skin testing (typically any age after 1year). They can test for many of the common allergens, once you have your list, you’ll begin to have go to foods for your child. It can be overwhelming; don’t be afraid to get a referral for a nutritionist from your pediatrician as well! They can be extremely helpful in figuring out ways to fill in the gaps when traditional foods are missing from a child’s diet! Depending on your child’s age, there are also many resources (some listed below) that will help you navigate how to help your child adapt to allergies in school. There are many ways to help teachers and school officials create plans of safety for your child while not excluding them.

These are obviously three small answers for a topic with so many questions, but they are a starting point. If you suspect your child has food allergies, cry for a minute, take a deep breath, and know you’ll get through this! Some kids outgrow allergies, some add new ones, and some keep them for life. Reach out to other parents in your community or via social media who are fighting the same battles for support. Know that you’re not alone.

Listed below are just some of the great resources to help you navigate this new adventure:

http://www.foodallergy.org
http://www.allermates.com
http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org
http://allergicliving.com

Salesforce survey: Millennials want telehealth and mobile apps
05 Jul

Salesforce survey: Millennials want telehealth and mobile apps

Just ahead of the closing enrollment period for Obamacare, tech behemoth Salesforce released a report titled “The State of the Connected Patient 2015,” detailing the potentially huge shift in how patients interact with their providers, particularly younger patients, and how technology might help improve connectivity.

“While traditional communication channels remain popular among patients, the next generation of patients want innovations for how they connect with providers and share information,” the report said.

One increasingly common example is the use of telehealth, with 60 percent of Millenials supporting its uses to eliminate in-person health visits, according to the report. And 71 percent said they’d like to see their providers use an app to book appointments, share health data and manage preventive care.

“Technology wields huge potential for improving the management of our health,” the report said. “Both healthcare providers and insurance companies have an opportunity to revolutionize healthcare in meaningful new ways, thanks
to the power of connectivity.”

Mobile apps and devices are of the most interest to patients, according to the report. In addition, 61 percent of insured Millenials are interested in 3D printing as it applies to healthcare and health devices. Another 57 percent expressed interest in “cutting-edge tools” such as pills that can monitor internal vitals.

Telemedicine Is A Game-Changer For Patients, The System
05 Jul

Telemedicine Is A Game-Changer For Patients, The System

While 87% of Americans now have health insurance, overwhelming co-pays, high deductibles and a lack of primary care doctors still stand in the way of healthcare for many.

An average GOLD level plan—one of the more expensive, “better” insurance plans—still has a deductible of $2,000 for an individual, which approximately 40% of Americans cannot afford. Thirty-five percent of Americans already struggle with medical debt despite that 70% of those struggling have insurance. And by 2025, the United States faces a potential physician shortage of as many as 52,000.

For many, new health insurance is not providing access to affordable care, and the ACA will not address the physician shortage. To bridge that gap, we must find innovative ways facilitate hassle free access to a provider that is more cost-effective. Telemedicine is a growing model that is a part of the answer.

Telemedicine, or “telehealth,” is the provision of remote access to a physician via phone or videoconference to address a health care issue. It’s not a new concept. It’s well-established in rural areas for specialty consultations, and has been widely used in many primary care practices like pediatrics as a practical matter (although most pediatricians do not bill for phone consultations).

More broadly, telehealth is gaining ground as an alternative to urgent care or the emergency department for more minor concerns like ear infections and colds. This week, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts announced that it is offering video visits to patients within two physician groups. BCBSMA Director of Network Innovation Greg LeGrow told MobiHealthNews that video visits have the potential to improve cost, access, quality, efficiency, as well as patient and physician satisfaction.

Data show that telemedicine can deliver quality outcomes comparable to in person office visits. A 2011 Center for Disease Control study showed eighty percent of adults discharged from the emergency room-meaning patients who could be treated and sent home-said they sought care at the ER due to lack of access to a primary care provider (PCP). However, the ER is also the most expensive and least efficient way to provide non-emergent care, costing from $1,500 to $3,000 on average compared to $130 to $190 for a PCP visit. A telemedicine visit can cost as little as $40.